Lead contamination in sizzling sauces

Given the lead contamination in candy containing chili imported from Mexico, 25 hot sauces were tested for heavy metals.

“Lead toxicity is widespread and a major public health concern, “especially for babies. “One of the most important sources of lead exposure in the fetus and infant is maternal blood. Lead in maternal blood ”- that is, in the bloodstream of pregnant and breastfeeding women -“ easily passes through the placenta and mammary glands ”and gets into breast milk. Where does the lead come from? Most can come from the mother’s skeleton, where lead from previous exposures accumulates. Past exposures to what? “The FDA reports that women of childbearing potential in the US are exposed to lead through food (43%), dust (31%), water (22%), and air (4%).”

One of the more atypical sources of lead poisoning in children in the United States is are “Lead-contaminated candy”, ironically also brands with names like “toxic waste”. (The FDA called back the Nuclear Sludge variety of Toxic Waste candy, but not the others.) Many of the tainted candies were imported from Mexico, “especially those contains Chili and salt as the main ingredients. “It’s not clear if“ the chilli additives were contaminated during the outdoor drying process. Other possible sources of this contamination could be the grindstones involved in making chili powder or the possible use of lead arsenate as a pesticide. “You just don’t know.

Wait a second. There is something else in grocery stores that has imported chilies and salt as its main ingredients: hot sauce. I discuss this in my video Lead contamination in hot sauces.

“In the past ten years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Multiple warnings and recalls for food products that exceed FDA standards for lead. Products containing chilli peppers and salt “like the candy” have often been suspected of being sources of lead contamination. Products such as hot sauces, which contain similar ingredients, stood until this “first known study of lead concentrations in hot sauces”.

As you can see in mine at 1:52 VideoThe researchers tested 25 different hot sauces, and about 9 out of 10 contained “detectable lead”, although only four brands exceeded the FDA’s 0.1 ppm efficiency. That 0.1ppm is the candy standard, however, so technically none of the hot sauces can be picked up off the US shelves. While candy and hot sauce share ingredients, there is simply no standard for hot sauce.

The most heavily contaminated hot sauces had roughly a microgram of lead per teaspoon, which can be more than young children should be to get but how many six-year-olds consume hot sauce with a spoon? “Although hot sauce wouldn’t be intuitive counted For foods that are heavily consumed by children, ethnic and cultural practices must be taken into account. Chili peppers and salt are widely used in sweets, spices, hot sauces, and in everyday Mexican-style cooking. “So the researchers want the same strict candy standard of 0.1 ppm lead to be applied to hot sauce – or at least some limit to be set.

What is the motivation for manufacturers to even address the problem without enforceable standards for hot sauces? It could be the floor, for example. The bottom on which the peppers to grow may be so contaminated with lead that just washing off residue on peppers after harvest can quadruple the lead content in the end product – but why take the extra step of rinsing off dirt when no one is checking?

Are there any other imports we should be concerned about? I talked about heavy metal contamination from herbal additives in my video Get the lead out, but not this type of herbal supplement: marijuana. “Several hundred people suffered Lead poisoning, believed to be due to drug dealers’ desire to maximize profits. “Lead is heavy – about 50 times heavier than oregano – and therefore” particularly useful for increasing profits “when the product is being sold by weight. And it wasn’t subtle. You can see the tiny lead particles in the product in mine at 3:48 PM Video. Why was Is there an epidemic of lead poisoning among young students with “piercings”? Because dealers could make an additional $ 1,500 per pound of marijuana.

Would you like to make your own hot sauce? I have a delicious recipe for a healthy hot sauce with all the bright green ingredients in mine How Not To Die Cookbook!

Would you like to learn more about lead? Take a deep dive:

  • How the lead paint industry got away with it
  • Lead in drinking water
  • How the leading gas industry got away with it
  • “Normal” blood lead levels can be toxic
  • The effects of low lead exposure in adults
  • How to lower lead levels with diet: thiamine, fiber, iron, fat, fasting?
  • How to lower lead levels with diet: breakfast, whole grains, milk, tofu?
  • Best foods for lead poisoning: chlorella, coriander, tomatoes, moringa?
  • Best food for lead poisoning: garlic
  • Can Vitamin C Help With Lead Poisoning?
  • Yellow peppers for male infertility and lead poisoning?
  • Lead contamination in fish and game
  • Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?
  • The rise in blood lead levels during pregnancy and menopause
  • Lead in calcium supplements
  • How much lead does organic chicken soup (bone broth) contain?
  • Heavy metal urine test and chelation in autism
  • How to lower the heavy metal content with the diet
  • Flashback Friday: Can saunas detoxify lead from the body?
  • Is lipstick safe in the face of lead contamination?


In health,

Michael Greger, MD

PS: If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my free videos Here and check out my live presentations:

Related Articles