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Despite spooky Consumer Reports’ testing, metals in chocolates aren’t scary

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Despite spooky Consumer Reports’ testing, metals in chocolates aren’t scary

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

With Halloween bounties now collected and as end-of-year holidays that brim with tempting treats approach, you may once again be wondering about the dangers of indulging. Among the most alarming concerns to gain attention recently is the risk of heavy metals in candy. Last week, Consumer Reports (CR) released its second article highlighting that one of America's most beloved confections—chocolates—can contain small amounts of the toxic metals lead and cadmium.

CR tested 48 chocolate products in various categories—from milk chocolate bars to brownie mixes, chocolate chips, and hot chocolate—finding "high" and "concerning" levels of at least one of the two heavy metals in a third of the products. Last year, the nonprofit consumer organization tested 28 bars of dark chocolate, finding what it suggested was "dangerous" levels of cadmium and/or lead in 23 of the bars.

The news made waves last year and may renew fears about what's lurking in holiday treats. But, a closer look at the data—as well as reactions from actual medical toxicologists—indicates that the risk of heavy metals in chocolate is actually pretty low.

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