Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health examined a number of Indian spices and ceremonial powders and found that almost half of them contained lead levels higher than permitted by European Union and the US Foods and Drug Administration
Some of the major ingredients that contained higher levels of lead are Asafetida, henna, kohl, mustard seeds and tamarind candy with kumkum containing highest levels of 67 percent.
Lead author, Dr Cristiane Lin said that increased exposure of children below four years of age to such ingredients could increase the ingestion of lead by almost three times. “Our message is to say, be aware of these products that may contain lead. From a pediatrician’s perspective, it’s good to push for screening of nonpaint sources of lead”, Dr Lin said.