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HAZARDS OF CONTAMINATED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

JAMA. 1937;109(2):135. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780280041015.
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Recently a case of acute lead poisoning as a result of the ingestion of apples from which spray residue had not been completely removed was reported.1 Only a short time ago another investigator,2 who has studied the problem of spray residues on foods extensively, expressed the belief that the potential danger from lead and, to a lesser extent, arsenic poisoning from contaminated fruits and vegetables has not been sufficiently emphasized. Ingested lead accumulates in the viscera and particularly in the bones and is gradually and continuously released. The continued presence and circulation of small amounts of lead throughout the organism may eventually impair health. The onset of symptoms, such as loss of appetite, malaise, loss of body weight, weakness, fatigue on exertion, anemia, gastro-intestinal disturbances, pains in the joints and later paralysis, may be so insidious that chronic poisoning by lead-contaminated foods is not at first suspected.

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