Lead in Mexican Candies

Texas Department of Health


June 2, 2004

TDH Releases Test Results on Mexican Candy


 Texas Department of Health (TDH) laboratory tests for lead in 38 candy and snack products imported from Mexico that contain powdered chili found no lead levels that exceeded federally established regulatory standards.


Of 38 products tested, small amounts of lead were found in 11, but all were below a 0.5 parts-per-million (or milligrams-per-kilogram) maximum acceptable level established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


No lead was detected in the other 27 products, though TDH officials said trace amounts could have been present at levels too low to register in the laboratory tests.


Small amounts of lead were detected in:  Paletas Elchavo with chili powder (0.0856 parts per million), Rebanaditas (0.0630), Lollipops Vero Rebanaditas (0.180), Chirris Pinaletas (0.164), Serpentinas (0.204), Alago Cacahuates Sartido (0.242), Deliciosos Caramelos (0.466), Rielito Chaca Chaca (0.111), Tama Roca in yellow wrapper (0.116), Mango Enchilado Slices (0.0629) and Rebanaditas Vero (0.0603).


TDH said no regulatory action will be taken based on the laboratory findings.


No lead was detected in Palerindas, 50 Mango Enchilado, Paletas Elchavo, Chamoy Miguelito, Paletas Pina Loca, Vero Elotes, Rellerindos, Pica Gomas Tamarind Flavor, Pulparindo, Pulpa Vero Sabor Sandia, Hormigas, Vero Mango, Vero Elotes, Bomba Tamarindo, Pico, Portico Periqurto, Zumba Pica Tiliko, Cisne, Pulparindo, Barrilitos Chilito, Ragolero, Super Palerindas, Tama Roca in green wrapper, Lucas Gusano Chamoy, Marimbas 3 in 1, Pulpa Vero Mango or Pelon Pelo Rico.


TDH also tested product wrappers for lead content and found that some wrappers had elevated levels of lead that did not appear to affect the lead levels in the products themselves.  Officials cautioned against allowing children to put any candy wrappers in their mouths.


TDH collected the product samples from Laredo, McAllen, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso.


No additional tests of imported Mexican candies are planned, but officials said more testing could be done if new information or concerns arise.  TDH is forwarding the test results to the FDA, which is doing a broader investigation of lead levels in some imported Mexican candies.


Too much lead intake can result in delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies.  Excessive amounts of lead can cause kidney and reproductive system damage and other serious health problems.