Lead danger in the can

The New Straits Times, August 28,1995

Q: Can lead contained in cans get into the food that is stored inside them?

A: Yes, when food is stored in cans that are soldered with lead, some of the lead may leach into the food. Foods that are acidic tend to absorb most lead. Foods that contain higher concentration of nictric acid is most likely to be contaminated with lead.

In order to minimise unnecessary exposure, we suggest that you buy foods in cans that are welded or seamless. We can always tell the difference between cans by looking at the seams. A welded can has a black-striped, flat seam while cans soldered with lead have seams that look crimped and sometimes have an irregular strip of silvery metal along the joint.

We also suggest that you remove the food from the can as soon as possible. Once opened and exposed to the air, the surrounding conditions may encourage metals from the can to migrate to the food. This may increase the possibility of the food being adulterated with other contaminants and also microbes or bacteria..

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