A new study by Consumer Reports found that some of the popular dark chocolate brands contain high levels of heavy metals. The study was carried out by scientists from the nonprofit advocacy organization, sampling 28 well-known chocolate brands. The researchers detected lead and cadmium among the most prevalent heavy metals in chocolate.

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According to the report, eating just one ounce (28 grams) of chocolate per day would exceed the recommended levels for certain heavy metals in 23 of the sampled brands. Even more surprising is the fact that the sampled brands are among the most popular and well-established, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s and Lindt.

Related: New study finds PET bottles of five huge soda brands contain harmful heavy metals

In a statement Tunde Akinleye, a researcher with Consumer Reports, said that the metals have a huge potential health impact. Metals are riskiest in pregnant women and young children. If children consume such metals, they could hamper brain development.

Besides children, Akinleye said that they can harm adults as well. Young people who consume such metals are at a high risk of suffering from hypertension, kidney damage and reproductive issues, among others.

While most brands were found to have crossed the bar with heavy metals, some had promising outcomes. According to Akinleye, five brands were found to contain safe levels of cadmium. This is an indication that safety is attainable with the right desire.

For the study, Consumer reports used California standards for maximum allowed levels of lead at 0.5 micrograms and cadmium at 4.1 micrograms. It was found that some brands contained more than 100% of the recommended amounts. For instance, Lindt’s excellent dark chocolate was found to contain 166% more lead and cadmium than allowed in California.

Speaking to members of the press, Lindt & Sprüngli Group spokesperson said that the company pays attention to safety. However, the firm was unable to explain the high levels of heavy metals.

Christopher Gindlesperger of the National Confectioners Association related the high levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate to its farming process. In an investigation done in 2008, he said that lead and cadmium are present in chocolate due to the soil where cocoa grows.

Via CBS News

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