CDC warns of lead poisoning from applesauce pouches after more than 20 toddlers sick

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Nearly two dozen toddlers have been impacted by lead poisoning linked to applesauce pouches, the Centers for Disease Control said Monday, sparking a warning for doctors around the country.

A total of 22 cases of lead poisoning across 14 states have been reported where children 1 to 3 years old showing increased lead levels in blood.

No amount of lead is safe, but the CDC uses a 3.5 micrograms per deciliter benchmark to signify especially dangerous cases. The impacted children had lead levels of 4 to 29 micrograms per deciliter.

The recalled applesauce pouches include WanaBana brand apple cinnamon fruit purée pouches, as well as Weis and Schnucks brand cinnamon applesauce pouches, the CDC said.

The agency recommends parents throw out recalled pouches and get their children’s blood tested for lead if they consumed recalled food.

Long-term lead exposure can produce significant health problems, especially in children. Heavy metal contamination is most often from lead paints, antique toys or industrial pollution.

Cases were identified in 14 states as of Nov. 7: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

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