Love drinking cheap wine? There’s no shame in loving an affordable pinot grigio, but it could be harming your health.
The most popular, budget-friendly wines, such as Trader Joe’s favorite Charles Shaw, Menage à Trois, and Franzia can contain up to five times the maximum amount of arsenic deemed safe for drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reports CBS.
In fact, the cheaper the wine, the more arsenic it’s likely to contain. The effects of arsenic — a known carcinogen that’s highly toxic — have been compared to the effects of smoking cigarettes.
Wine expert Kevin Hicks, tested more than 1,300 bottles of wine, about 1 in 4 had higher levels of arsenic than the EPA permits in drinking water. Because the EPA’s arsenic standards apply only to water (and people drink less wine that water) researchers don’t know exactly how the amount of arsenic found in wine could affect the body or whether you’re at risk.
The arsenic levels in wines tested differed by vintage, variety, and brand. But overall, “the lower the price of wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the amount of arsenic,” Hicks told CBS.
Hicks is now filing a class action lawsuit in the state of California, accusing more than 20 winemakers and distributors of promoting harmful products.
The next time you splurge on a pricey bottle of wine, consider it an investment in your health.