Consumer Reports, the magazine of the non-profit Consumers Union, has recently published a report of its findings of inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen, in commercial apple and grape juice.
A test of 88 samples of apple juice and grape juice purchased in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut found that 10 percent had total arsenic levels exceeding US federal drinking-water standards of 10 parts per billion. Most of the arsenic was inorganic. Consumer Reports speculates that the arsenic comes from contaminated soils resulting from historical use of lead-arsenate pesticides in apple orchards in the US and China. They believe that arsenic contaminated groundwater in China may also be a source of some of the arsenic.
A parallel study of almost 3,000 people found that those who said that they regularly drink apple juice had on average 19 percent greater levels of total urinary arsenic than those who did not, and those who reported drinking grape juice had 20 percent higher levels.
Consumers Union is urging the US government to set strict standards for arsenic in apple and grape juice.
Much more information on this project is to be found at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-reports-magazine-january-2012/arsenic-in-your-juice/index.htm