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Understanding the CDC Health Advisory for High Blood Levels of Lead in Children

By Amelia Thorp, Paralegal Team Leader

On November 13, 2023, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory about a lead recall for cinnamon applesauce pouches.

Specifically, the following products have been recalled:

  • WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches,
  • Weis-brand apple cinnamon pouches, and
  • Schnucks-brand apple cinnamon pouches.

To learn more about the exact products recalled, read our recent article here.

About the CDC’s Health Advisory

The CDC’s Health Alert Network (HAN) is a national entity that publishes health alerts, advisories, and updates during “urgent public health incidents”. The lead contamination of the apple cinnamon fruit pouches warranted a health advisory after an investigation found a link between fruit puree/applesauce pouches and cases of lead exposure in children.

The advisory speaks to the dangers of lead toxicity in children, as they are at a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms.

Children may experience a severe and sudden onset of lead poisoning, and here’s why:

  • Children’s nervous systems are still developing & lead toxicity primarily targets the nervous system, and
  • Children’s bodies absorb a higher fraction of lead than adult bodies.

Understanding Blood Lead Levels

Blood lead levels (BLLs) are measured via a capillary or venous blood draw and are considered to be high in children when they are above 3.5 µg/dL. Children require immediate medical attention for BLLs above 45 µg/dL. Chelation therapy is the common treatment for high BLLs. The therapy uses medicines that bond to the lead so it can safely exit the body.

Symptoms to Watch For

The advisory published a more expansive list of symptoms for parents and caregivers to look out for in children who may have been exposed to lead. A child may present with the following symptoms:

  • anemia,
  • abdominal pain,
  • weakness, and
  • severe neurological sequelae (e.g., seizures, encephalopathy, and coma).

Recommendations from the CDC

The CDC strongly suggests that clinicians, public health professionals, and the public take action at this time.

Specifically, they recommend:

  • Do not buy, sell, or serve the recalled apple cinnamon fruit pouches/sauces, summarized here.
  • Understand the dangers and causes of lead toxicity, especially the fact that it can happen with no symptoms being present,
  • Test any children who have consumed the recalled products, and
  • Seek the appropriate treatment for children who may test positive for lead toxicity.

Seeking Compensation for Lead Poisoning Injuries

When a loved one is diagnosed with lead poisoning, it can be a stressful process. Seek justice and reach out to our product liability attorneys who are aggressively investigating these claims against Wanabana and other brands.

David B. Rheingold, one of our lead attorneys in this litigation, can help you navigate the litigation process.

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