One of prop 65’s quirks is that its legal definition of safe limits for substances like arsenic and lead are well below what nature has been providing for thousands of years. Carrots and yams both exceed the legal limit of arsenic by more than 20 times, but of course they aren’t dangerous because of nature’s way of bonding ions and elements.
Earthpaste is one of many completely natural products that contains lead — though much less than the amount defined as safe by Proposition 65. Here are some interesting comparisons that show the amount of lead in some of these natural products.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us lead occurs naturally, in uncontaminated soils, at a level of between 50 and 400 parts per million (ppm) — it’s part of what makes earth what it is. As a comparison Redmond Clay naturally has around 12 ppm — a fraction of the typical amount in “uncontaminated soils”.
Of course we can also compare lead levels in our food supply. In 2007, the FDA conducted a study to determine the amount of lead in typical foods and establish safe levels. Here is what they found in typical servings.
- Fresh collard greens may contain up to 30 micrograms of lead (50x higher than prop 65 stipulates)
- Dry roasted mix nuts may contain up to 20 mcg of lead
- Brussels sprouts may contain up to 15 mcg of lead
- Sweet potatoes may contain up to 16 mcg of lead
- Spinach may contain up to 15 mcg of lead
In each use of Earthpaste, you would expect up to 6 mcg of lead — five times less than in collard greens. Which of course doesn’t mean we should avoid collard greens! As it turns out, nature has given us ways to avoiding damage from naturally-occurring lead.