PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Multiple Oregon children have elevated levels of lead in their blood after consuming pouches of applesauce that are subject to a nationwide recall, Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday afternoon.
The WanaBana brand’s “apple cinnamon fruit purée” was formally recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late October. Since then, the OHA has confirmed at least six cases of lead poisoning tied to the product.
“While lead is toxic for all people regardless of age, small children are especially at risk because they’re still growing and developing,” said Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator. “Continued exposure over time can permanently damage their central nervous system, which may result in long-term health problems, such as learning disorders, impaired speech and brain damage.”
Officials say signs of lead poisoning may be easily mistaken for other illnesses, but the main symptoms are: tiredness or loss of energy; hyperactivity; reduced attention span; irritability or crankiness; poor appetite; weight loss; trouble sleeping; constipation; aches or pains in stomach.
The applesauce is distributed nationwide through Dollar Tree, Amazon, and other online stores. Officials say the children impacted live in Lake, Lincoln, Multnomah and Washington counties.
WanaBana agreed to recall their applesauce pouches “regardless of expiration dates,” but officials say some families may have bought the product beforehand. According to the OHA, families should throw away any leftover pouches they may find in their homes.
Officials add that parents and caregivers concerned about their child’s exposure should request a blood test from their healthcare provider.