A new University of Washington (UW) study found arsenic in American red wines. They tested 65 popular, inexpensive wines from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon. The results showed all but one had arsenic levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency's limits on arsenic in drinking water.
This report follows a 2008 study from Kingston University in London finding that many wines throughout the world contain heavy metals up to 200 times the amount considered safe.
And some California residents have brought suit against 28 California wineries including Franzia, Mogen David, and Almaden for selling products that contain a "dangerous" level of arsenic. The lawsuit claims some of the wines tested 500% higher than what's considered safe.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element. It leaches out of rocks into soil and water and makes its way into the food chain. In some forms, arsenic is toxic to humans. Long-term exposure is linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancers of the liver, lung, kidney, skin and bladder.
The EPA allows drinking water to contain no more than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic. The wine samples in the UW study ranged from 10 to 76 ppb, with an average of 24 ppb.