Lead in Candy

Message to Parents

Resources

Photos

Press Releases
(en español)

Message to Parents
Here are several things that parents can do to protect their children from lead-contaminated candy:

Familiarize yourself with the candies that have often tested high for lead. View the Orange Country Register’s photos of toxic treats, and download informative posters about these candies.
The following “most wanted” candies have regularly tested high for lead. Candies marked with an asterisks (*) have been issued a public health advisory from the Departement of Health Services. All Lucas brand seasoning-style candies have been discontinued by the manufacturer and should NOT be sold in California .

Bolirindo by Dulmex
Super Rebanaditas
* Rollito de Tamarindo by Dulmex
Tama Roca
* Chaca Chaca
Paleton con Chile
* Lucas Limon
Vero Rebanaditas
Tablarindo
Pelon Pelo Rico
Serpentinas
Vero Mango

If you believe your child may have eaten one of these candies, you can have their blood level tested for lead by calling your state’s Childhood Lead Poisioning Prevention Branch. Young children that are eligible for Medi-Cal or other state-assisted health care can get free testing. California’s Childhood Lead Poisioning Prevention Branch: (510) 622-500

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Resources
The following links can provide you with more information about the health effects of lead exposures:

Download CEH’s fact sheet on lead poisoning.
The CA Department of Health Services’ Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: http://www.dhs.ca.gov/childlead/.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/lead.htm.
The Environmental Health Coalition’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: http://www.environmentalhealth.org/lead_poisoning.html.
Download informative posters to put up at home, work, or in the classroom (requires Adobe Acrobat):

English
Spanish
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Press Releases
6.29.06: Companies Agree to Protect Children from Lead in Candy
10.28.04: Trick or Tragedy: Parents Urged to Avoid Lead-Tainted Candy This Halloween
Día de Brujas o Día de Envenenamiento: El Centro de Salud Ambiental urge a los Padres de Familia a que eviten golosinas contaminadas con plomo
5.21.04: Center for Environmental Health Files Legal Notice Against Mexican candy manufacturers for candy containing lead
Trick or Tragedy: Parents Urged to Avoid Lead-Tainted Candy This Halloween
October 24, 2004

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 24 through 30), the Center of Environmental Health (CEH) is urging parents to avoid certain candies imported from Mexico that lab testing has shown to be contaminated with potentially dangerous levels of lead. More than 112 brands of candy sold in California, most of them made in Mexico and marketed to Latino children, have tested positive for dangerous levels of lead in the past decade. In nearly every case, state regulators have failed to take any action to protect children and the candy remains for sale on store shelves.

“The scariest thing this Halloween could be the threat to our children from these dangerous candies,” said CEH Executive Director Michael Green. “We’ll all be ghosts by the time the state takes action, but we won’t wait any longer while children are at risk.”

The Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) of San Diego began testing imported candies in 2001 and has led the campaign to force regulators to take action to protect California’s children. Earlier this year, CEH joined their effort by suing the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of Mexican candy for exposing children to dangerous amounts of lead in candy.

Based on test results of candies and wrappers, EHC and CEH urge shoppers to not buy the following Top 12 Candies to Avoid:

Chaca Chaca Super Rebanaditas
Lucas Limon Tama Roca
Tablarindo Paleton con Chile
Serpentinas Vero Rebanaditas
Pelon Pelo Rico Vero Mango
Bolirindo and Rollito de Tamarind (by Dulmex)

“ Our children are eating these poisons without knowing it and unfortunately the health department is not doing anything about it” said Leticia Ayala, Director of the Environmental Health Coalition’s Campaign to Eliminate Childhood Lead Poisoning. Parents need to be extra vigilant about the candy they are buying and giving out this Halloween.

Chronic low-level exposure to lead in the home and food can cause developmental problems in children, including impaired growth, reduced IQ and learning disabilities, and behavioral and hyperactivity problems. The state has estimated that as many as 15% of lead poisoned children in the state have eaten leaded candy, and 75% of lead-poisonings state-wide are Latino children.
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Día de Brujas o Día de Envenenamiento: El Centro de Salud Ambiental urge a los Padres de Familia a que eviten golosinas contaminadas con plomo
28 de octubre 2004

Durante la Semana Nacional de Prevención contra Envenenamiento por Plomo (del 24 al 30 de octubre) el Centro de Salud Ambiental (CEH) exhorta a los padres de familia a evitar ciertas golosinas importadas desde México cuyo peligroso contenido de plomo ha sido demostrado mediante pruebas de laboratorio. En la última década, más de 112 marcas de dulces distribuidos en California han rendido resultados positivos en pruebas de contenido de plomo. La mayoría de estas golosinas son hechas en México y promocionadas a niños latinos en California. Por su parte, los procuradores del estado han fracasado en su función de proteger a nuestros niños y tristemente los dulces contaminados siguen a la venta.

“El aspecto más tenebroso de este Día de Brujas podría ser la amenaza que estos riesgosos dulces representan para nuestros niños” declara Michael Green, director ejecutivo del CEH. “No esperaremos más mientras nuestros niños estén en peligro, ya que de así hacerlo, todos seremos fantasmas para cuando el estado decida tomar cartas en el asunto”.

La Coalición de Salud Ambiental (EHC) de San Diego ha conducido desde el 2001 análisis del contenido de caramelos importados, y ha dirigido una campaña para obligar a los procuradores del estado a proteger a la infancia de California. A principios de este año, el CEH se unió a los esfuerzos del EHC al demandar a los productores, a los distribuidores y a los vendedores de los dulces mexicanos en cuestión por exponer a la población infantil a cantidades nocivas de plomo.

En base a los resultados del análisis de golosinas y de sus envoltorios, el CEH y el EHC incitan a los padres de familia a evitar la compra de los siguientes 12 dulces más peligrosos:

Chaca Chaca Super Rebanaditas
Lucas Limón Tama Roca
Tablarindo Paleton con Chile
Serpentinas Vero Rebanaditas
Pelon Pelo Rico Vero Mango
Bolirindo Rollito de Tamarindo (hecho por Dulmex)

“Nuestros niños consumen estos venenos sin saberlo y desafortunadamente el departamento de salud no esta haciendo nada al respecto” expresó Leticia Ayala, directora de la Campaña Para la Eliminación del Envenenamiento Infantil por Plomo, campaña que conduce la Coalición de Salud Ambiental. En este Día de Brujas, los padres necesitan prestar especial atención a los dulces que compren y distribuyan entre nuestros niños.

La exposición crónica a niveles bajos de plomo en el hogar y en la comida puede causar problemas de desarrollo en los niños, incluyendo problemas de crecimiento, reducción del coeficiente intelectual, reducción de la capacidad de aprendizaje y disposición a problemas de comportamiento y de hiperactividad. El estado estima que hasta un 15% de las víctimas infantiles de envenenamiento por plomo en California han consumido dulces contaminados de plomo, y que hasta un 75% de los envenenamientos en el estado afectan a niños hispanos.

Para más información, visite nuestro sitio en Internet: www.cehca.org
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CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH FILES LEGAL NOTICE AGAINST MEXICAN CANDY MANUFACTURERS FOR CANDY CONTAINING LEAD

CONTACT: Michael Green, Joanna Mattson or Micaela Davis, CEH: (510) 594-9864

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has filed a 60- Day Notice to the California Attorney General’s office of intent to sue the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of Mexican candy for exposing children to dangerous amounts of lead in their products. Many types of Mexican candy and their wrappers have been shown to contain high amounts of lead in numerous tests conducted by the California Department of Health Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and an independent lab hired by the Orange County Register. However, little has been done by regulating bodies to eliminate this health threat from our communities. This health threat disproportionately affects Mexican citizens and Latino communities in California. CEH hopes their actions will add to efforts by the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) in San Diego to force the makers of this contaminated candy to clean up their act so that children in California and in Mexico can safely eat their candy.

“It is unacceptable that these corporations continue to knowingly expose children to toxic amounts of lead,” said Michael Green, executive director of CEH. “We expect our actions to change the companies’ behavior so that their product is clean.”

CEH has been working closely with EHC to address this serious threat to children’s health. EHC has led a longstanding campaign to force the regulatory bodies in California to address this issue by conducting extensive testing of imported candy and better informing the public. CEH hopes that the suit against the companies will further this campaign and EHC’s efforts to have the contaminated candy removed from stores.

Proposition 65 is California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which ensures the public’s right-to-know about toxic chemicals in consumer products and in the environment. Public interest groups like CEH use Prop 65 to hold corporations accountable for their environmental and health impacts.
The Center for Environmental Health protects the public from environmental and consumer health hazards. We are committed to environmental justice, reducing the use of toxic chemicals, supporting communities in their quest for a safer environment, and corporate accountability. We change corporate behavior through education, litigation, and advocacy.