When Consumer Reports' research on arsenic in apple juice came out yesterday, many mothers (and drinkers of apple and grape juice!) were pretty upset about a human carcinogen in their children's juice cups. While scientists and researchers will now try to determine what a safe level of arsenic is, we thought we'd share a few facts about arsenic, including why it's something to be limited.
5 Facts About Arsenic
1. There are two types of arsenic. Although arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil, there's a difference between organic and inorganic arsenic. According to the FDA, organic arsenic is pretty harmless and is passed through the body, but too much inorganic arsenic poses health risks.
2. Arsenic can be toxic. Inorganic arsenic is a known human carcinogen and can be toxic if consumed at high levels or over a long period of time.
3. Arsenic has been used as a pesticide. Because arsenic is toxic to insects, bacteria and fungi, it has been used in agriculuture and as a wood preservative, but now less toxic forms of arsenic are used.
4. Arsenic in drinking water is a worldwide problem. While some U.S. cities have higher amounts of arsenic in its drinking water, it is estimated that 57 million people are drinking groundwater with arsenic concentrations elevated above the World Health Organization's standard of 10 parts per billion.
5. Highly diluted arsenic is sometimes used as medicine. According to WebMD, arsenic is often used as a part of extremely diluted homeopathic remedies for digestive disorders, food poisoning, insomnia, allergies, anxiety, depression and more.
Are you concerned about arsenic in your apple juice or water? Tell us about it.
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.