"Bentonite Me Baby" is a brand of "detox clay" that you spread on your face, or eat, to rid your body of mysterious, nonspecific "toxins." It is full of lead.
Specifically, FDA tests found lead present in the clay at 37.5 parts per million — while food guidelines limit lead in juice to 0.05 ppm. The manufacturer, Alikay Naturals, admits that the clay has dangerous lead levels, but dismisses concerns, because they say their product is a "cosmetic" and not a "food" (despite the label's advice to try ingesting it, "to aid in colon and detox cleansing to remove harmful toxins from the body, which helps many things including raising energy levels").
Don't eat lead-infused clay.
The investigation began a few days after Christmas when Megan Curran de Nieto, director of community health programs at Saint Paul-based CLEARCorps, was walking through Target. One product in particular caught her eye — a jar of bentonite clay.
Curran de Nieto was reminded of a conversation with a local family struggling with high levels of lead in their blood. That family had been using a different variety of bentonite clay. The clay may or may not have had anything to do with the lead in their blood, but it stuck in Curran de Nieto's head.
And they weren't the only ones — bentonite clay has a following among celebrities and regular juice drinkers, like consumers of Juice Generation's "Pure Earth" shot. Some clays say they are for external use only, while others instruct consumers to consume them daily.
'Detox' clay may have dangerous amounts of lead, FDA says [Ike Swetlitz/Statnews]