Home Health Mothers of children poisoned by lead in bags of applesauce reveal that the children suffer from speech delays, mood swings and dark circles around the eyes.

Mothers of children poisoned by lead in bags of applesauce reveal that the children suffer from speech delays, mood swings and dark circles around the eyes.

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Alyssa Magnuson told NBC that she was

Parents of children poisoned by toxic lead in baby fruit bags have revealed their children are now suffering from speech delays, dark circles and behavioral problems.

Alyssa Magnuson, a 29-year-old Minnesota woman, took her daughter Stevie, then 11 months old, for a routine blood test last fall and was “disbelieving and shocked” when her daughter’s lead levels were higher. 16 times higher. the safe limit.

“I literally didn’t think there was any possible way the lead could have gotten into his system,” he said.

Stevie is one of more than 400 young people in 44 states who became ill after consuming bags of cinnamon applesauce that were contaminated with “extremely high” levels of lead.

Lead exposure has been shown to seriously harm children’s health, slowing growth and development, and causing damage to the brain and nervous system.

Alyssa Magnuson told NBC she was “disbelieving and shocked” when her daughter Stevie’s lead levels were more than 16 times higher than the average seen in children.

According to the CDC, there have been 111 confirmed reports of illness in 44 states, although there are more than 300 “probable” cases.

Dr. Jennifer Sample, a pediatric toxicologist, told Associated Press that there is no amount of lead exposure that is safe for children and that the effects on brain development can appear years later.

‘It’s irritability. They are behavioral concerns. “They are learning difficulties,” she stated.

Now, parents across the country fear that the symptoms their children are experiencing could last for many years.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors discovered that the WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis bags contained cinnamon manufactured at a plant in Ecuador, which was sent to another factory in the country that makes the bags.

The affected foods were then imported into the US starting in November 2022.

According to the CDC, there have been 111 confirmed reports of illness in 44 states, although there are more than 300 “probable” cases.

The contaminated bags, sold under the brand names WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis, were recalled in October after dozens of young children became ill, but the FDA has stated that many are still on shelves.

Doctors alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son Rudy was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring.

Callahan told NBC News that when he took Rudy for his annual checkup last year, his blood lead levels were 19.8 micrograms of lead per deciliter. This is more than five times the limit the FDA considers safe.

Although Rudy’s lead levels are decreasing, now at 5.7 micrograms, Callahan said she is concerned about the possibility of Rudy suffering other side effects.

Doctors alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son Rudy was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring.

Doctors alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son Rudy was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring.

Doctors alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son Rudy was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring.

“I’m pretty worried, considering the effects are irreversible,” said Cora Dibert’s mother Morgan (pictured), who works as a nurse.

“With his lead poisoning, his development could at any time be stopped or delayed because of it,” he said. ‘It’s always a worry, always a fear. But we are trying to live in the present and take one day at a time.”

Callahan filed a lawsuit against WanaBana USA in November.

Courtney Akin, 30, of Georgia, also told NBC News that her son, Jaxson, 18 months, is experiencing speech delays. She started purchasing bags of WanaBana for Jaxson in July, and in September, tests revealed his lead levels were 5.3 micrograms per deciliter.

“It’s very scary,” Mrs. Akin said. —I work as hard as I took care of it for so long and then I’m going to buy bags of lead. “I feel very bad for giving that to my son.”

Arielle Tevault, 26, of Indiana, said her three-year-old son Asher started looking pale and had dark circles around his eyes after he started eating WanaBana pouches last year.

Tevault said that although Asher stopped eating the bags several months ago, the circles have not faded. “He just looks sick,” he said.

Asher’s blood lead levels were 4.9 micrograms per deciliter.

Morgan Shurtleff of Oklahoma took her one-year-old daughter, Cora Dibert, for a routine blood test last year, where doctors found four times the safe limit for lead.

She had brought her favorite snack to the date: a bag of cinnamon-flavored WanaBana applesauce, which her mother, Morgan Shurtleff, said she had “sucked dry.”

“That was the scariest thing that ever happened to me,” Shurtleff told the AP last year.

Although Cora has not yet shown symptoms, Shurtleff said she is “quite concerned” about the “irreversible” effects.

When children ingest lead, the heavy metal travels through the bloodstream and spreads to organs, including the brain, Dr. Sample said. Once there, lead replaces vital nutrients such as calcium and iron within cells, causing permanent damage.

Short-term exposure to lead can cause symptoms including headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and anemia. Children sickened by these bags experienced symptoms such as weight loss, uncontrollable crying, and white stools.

Prolonged exposure can cause additional symptoms, such as lethargy, weight loss, constipation, and difficulty breathing.

The cause of the contamination is still unclear, but the FDA said its “leading hypothesis” is that lead was added to cinnamon for financial gain.

In November, the FDA said it was aware that “the recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree product (including three recalled packages) was still on the shelves of several Dollar Tree stores in several states.” The agency said: “This product should not be available for sale and consumers should not purchase it.”

Heavy metals like lead can get into food products through soil, air, water, or industrial processes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Lead may also be linked to cancer. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified lead as a probable human carcinogen, while the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said lead and its compounds are “reasonably anticipated” to be carcinogenic. humans, which means they can cause cancer in people.

Additionally, a major review presented last year found that nearly 13,000 cases of bladder, lung, pancreatic and skin cancer have been linked to foods laced with metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic.

In November, the FDA said it was aware that “the recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree product (including three recalled packages) was still on the shelves of several Dollar Tree stores in several states.”

“This product should not be available for sale and consumers should not purchase it.”

The cause of the contamination is still unclear, but the FDA is investigating whether lead was intentionally added for financial gain.

That could mean that an ingredient is added or removed from a food to increase its value.

For example, compounds such as brick red, lead salt, lead oxide and lead chromate, which reflect the red color of cinnamon, have been added to increase the value of the spice. studies show.

An FDA update released this week says: “Historically, lead chromate has been illegally added to certain spices to increase their weight and improve their color, increasing the monetary value of the adulterated spices.”

“The FDA’s primary hypothesis remains that this was likely an act of economically motivated adulteration.”

If true, “they made my son sick for a dime,” Shurtleff said. “The more I think about it, the angrier I get.”

FDA officials said they “cannot take direct action” with Negasmart, which supplied the cinnamon to the Austrofoods factory, and are relying on officials in Ecuador to investigate the company’s actions.

Negasmart does not ship products directly to the US, and of Negasmart’s customers, only Austrofoods ships food to the US, the agency said.

Tests show that children who ate the bags had blood lead readings up to eight times higher than the baseline level, raising concerns, health officials said.

Samples of the mash showed lead contamination more than 200 times greater than the FDA allows.

However, the CDC has stated that there is no safe level of lead consumption.

Because children’s brains are flexible and still growing, early detection and dietary changes can offset the damage, experts said. However, children will likely need years of monitoring and intervention.

“The effects on the brain at the cellular level are irreversible, but the downstream effects don’t have to be,” Dr. Sample said.

Lead poisoning can be treated with chelation, a therapy that uses medications that bind to metals in the blood to remove them from the body. But it is only used with higher levels of lead and is generally difficult to give to younger people.

Instead, affected children should eat a diet rich in vitamin D, calcium and iron and receive a stimulating environment that encourages brain development.

If parents suspect their child has been exposed to high levels of lead toxicity, the FDA recommends visiting a doctor and getting a blood lead test.

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