Inorganic arsenic in food – health concern confirmed

Inorganic arsenic in food – health concern confirmed

The European Commission has asked the European Food Safety Authority to update its assessment of inorganic arsenic to take into account new research on its toxic effects. EFSA consulted external stakeholders on its draft opinion and took into account the large number of comments received before finalizing it.

Which foods contain inorganic arsenic

Arsenic is a widespread contaminant Any substance not intentionally added to food. Contaminants can come from packaging, food processing and transportation, agricultural practices, or the use of animal drugs. This term does not include contamination by insects or rodents. It exists both naturally and as a result of human activities. Arsenic comes in many forms, depending on its chemical structure. The current opinion of the European Food Safety Authority mainly focuses on inorganic arsenic.

Food is the main source of exposure to inorganic arsenic in the general population A community of humans, animals, or plants from the same species. in Europe.Major factors in dietary exposure For the purpose of risk assessment, the measurement of consumption of substances (e.g. nutrients, additives or pesticides) intentionally added or unintentionally present in the human or animal diet. are rice, rice products, and cereals and cereal products. Drinking water can also cause exposure, although levels are generally lower in Europe.

health risks

long term intake The amount of a substance (such as a nutrient or chemical) that a person or animal takes in through their diet. Inorganic arsenic has been linked to a range of adverse effects on human health, including some forms of cancer.In its assessment, the European Food Safety Authority took into account the increased incidence The number of new events that occur within a specified geographical area during a specified time period; for example, the number of influenza cases per year in Europe. Skin cancer associated with inorganic arsenic exposure is the most relevant harmful effect. Experts concluded that ensuring skin cancer prevention can also prevent other potentially harmful effects.

EFSA calculates limits of exposure (MOE) when assessing the unintentional presence of genotoxic and carcinogenic substances in the food chain The Magnitude of Exposure (MOE) is a risk assessment tool used to explore safety issues arising from the presence of potentially toxic substances in food or animal feed.) for consumers. MOE is the ratio of two factors: dose The total amount of a substance (such as a chemical or nutrient) given, consumed, or absorbed by an individual organism, group, or ecosystem. Small but measurable adverse effects are observed, as well as the levels at which a given population is exposed to a substance. A low MOE represents greater risk than a higher MOE.

Based on available data from human studies, exposure levels to inorganic arsenic associated with an MOE of 1 or less may be associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.

For adults, the MOE is lower, ranging from 2 to 0.4 for average consumers and from 0.9 to 0.2 for high consumers. Experts concluded that this caused health problems.

Next step

The European Food Safety Authority is also assessing potential risks associated with exposure to organic arsenic in food.Once this risk assessment has been carried out A specialized field of applied science that involves the review of scientific data and studies to assess the risks associated with certain hazards. It consists of four steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Once completed, the possible risks of combined exposure to organic and inorganic arsenic in food will be assessed.

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