CDC Issues Warning After Lead Poisoning Hits at Least 22 Toddlers

( — The CDC this week warned doctors to look out for possible lead poisoning in children after at least 22 toddlers in 14 states became sick from eating applesauce and cinnamon apple puree from lead-tainted pouches under recall, the Associated Press reported.

According to the CDC, the children affected were all between one and three years old, and in at least one case, the child’s blood tested with a lead level that was eight times higher than the 3.5 micrograms per deciliter the CDC uses to identify higher levels than most for children.

All of the affected children had blood lead levels over 3.5 micrograms, ranging from 4 to 29 micrograms per deciliter.

The elevated lead levels were tied to recalled pouches of fruit purees marketed to children. The affected products are Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches and WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, which are sold online and in stores.

The Food and Drug Administration is calling on parents and caregivers not to serve the recalled products to children. Any children who may have eaten the products should have their blood tested for lead levels. While symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and anemia, not all children will show these symptoms.

Exposure to lead can cause serious behavioral or learning difficulties, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Lead and other heavy metals can enter food products through the air, water, soil, or during processing.

According to the CDC, as of November 7, cases of lead-related illnesses were found in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

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