Toxic Elements in Commercial Infant Food, Estimated Dietary Intake, and Risk Assessment in Poland
Monika Mania, Maria Wojciechowska-Mazurek, Krystyna Starska, Małgorzata Rebeniak, Tomasz Szynal, Agnieszka Strzelecka, Jacek Postupolski
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National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (NIPH – NIH),
Chocimska 24, 00-791 Warsaw, Poland
Publish date: 2015-11-27
Submission date: 2014-07-31
Final revision date: 2015-09-04
Acceptance date: 2015-09-05
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(6):2525–2536
This paper presents results of heavy metals determination in infant foods available in Poland during a monitoring programme in 2009-13. This study investigated levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury in infant formulae and other infant foods intended for consumption during the first 6 to 12 months of life, and an intake of heavy metals was assessed. Food consumption data based on the artificial feeding scheme of infants established by the Mother and Child Institute in Poland were taken into account to estimate dietary exposure. The reported levels of elements in infant foods are comparable with contamination of such products in other countries. The mean values for lead do not exceed 0.013 mg/kg (90th percentile, 0.028 mg/kg). Lead levels in infant formulae (as sold, mainly powder) did not exceed 0.010 mg/kg, while mean contamination was 0.005 mg/kg. The highest mean cadmium level of 0.010 mg/kg was reported in vegetable meal (90th percentile, 0.017 mg/kg); in infant formulae (undiluted) milk-based it was below 0.003 mg/kg, and for soya-based it was 0.009 mg/kg. Arsenic and mercury contents – highest in fish-based infant foods – did not exceed 0.18 mg/kg and 0.013 mg/kg, respectively. In rice products for infants arsenic did not exceed 0.14 mg/kg. The estimated mean lead exposure was from 0.09 μg/kg b.w. per day for 6-month-old infants to 0.53 μg/kg b.w. per day for 1-year-old children, which was approximately 17% and equal to the respective Benchmark Dose Lower Confidence Limit (BMDL01) established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) at 0.50 μg/kg b.w. per day. Mean exposure to cadmium ranges from 0.02 to 0.4 μg/kg b.w. per day, and for 12-month-old infants can slightly exceed the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) value established by EFSA. Dietary cadmium intake represents 2.5-47% of the provisional tolerable monthly intake (PTMI) value established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA). Intake of arsenic and mercury was below respective reference value. Calculated mean dietary exposure to arsenic for children under 1 year old was between 0.11 and 0.99 μg/kg b.w. per day (4-33% BMDL0.5 value), and to methylmercury 0.01-0.08 μg/kg b.w. per day (7-41% of the TWI value for methylmercury).