A new lawsuit claims some wines have dangerous level of arsenic in them, and the companies who make them aren't telling their customers.
The lawsuit, which names 28 wineries, was filed in California this week. It cites a study that tested more than 1,300 wines, and found several dozen with arsenic exceeding the "safe daily amount."
The FDA and EPA does not regulate the amount of arsenic in wine. However the government does regulate arsenic in water.
For drinking water, the EPA set a standard of 10 parts per billion.
"The amount an individual would encounter in their normal life, normal diet and drinking habits would be extremely low and of no medical concern," said Dr. Michael Mullins, a medical toxicologist at Barnes Jewish Hospital. He is also an associate professor of emergency medicine at Washington University.
The lawsuit compared arsenic levels in wine to the standard set for water. It claims some wines tested arsenic five times higher than the safe level -- up to 50 parts per billion.
Dr. Mullins said, even at 50 parts per billion, someone would have to drink about 20,000 glasses of wine to consume a toxic amount of arsenic.
He is not involved in the lawsuit or research and won't wade into a debate about its validity. However, for anyone reconsidering the wine on their shelf at home, he offers a note of calm.
"Somebody who's having a glass of wine with dinner. Maybe two glasses of wine at a party, something like that. Is at no danger," he said.
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