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California Health Officials Find Multiple Cases of Imported Candies with High Lead Levels

LA Testing provides laboratory services to identify lead and other hazardous substances in foods and from all types of environmental samples.

Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

In a recent issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a study was published from the University of California that examined lead exposures and California’s state-issued health alerts for food contamination. A significant part of the research focused on imported candies that were found to have high lead levels.

Researchers found that between 2001 and 2014, the California Department of Health Services posted alerts for 164 food contamination events. Of these, over 36% were related to lead contamination of food items and imported candies were responsible for over 96% of these cases. The imported candies with high lead levels came primarily from Mexico, China and India.

The State of California considers candies with lead levels in excess of 0.10 parts per million to be contaminated. According to the California Department of Public Health’s published information about the ways lead gets into candies, the agency states, “It is not entirely clear where the lead in many of the products is coming from, but products containing tamarind, chili powder or salt that is mined from certain parts of the world may have a higher likelihood of elevated levels of lead. Lead may also be introduced into the candy through improper drying, storing or grinding of the ingredients.” 

“It’s well known that no safe blood lead level in children has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so children being exposed to high amounts of lead in their favorite imported candies is frightening to all parents and health advocates,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Fortunately, testing for lead from candies, other food items, cosmetics, pottery and other all too common sources is quick and affordable. At LA Testing, we offer lead and other heavy metal testing services to importers, retailers, manufacturers, regulators, health professionals and the public. These services are essential for keeping these dangerous products away from the residents of California and especially our young children.”

To learn more about testing for lead or other product and environmental, health and safety issues, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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