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Food Chem Toxicol. 2005 Nov;43(11):1647-55.

Estimation of the dietary intake of cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic by the population of Santiago (Chile) using a Total Diet Study.

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  • 1Centro de Estudios en Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 3363, Santiago de Chile, 33074 Correo 33, Chile. omunoz@lauca.usach.cl


Dietary intake of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) by the population of Santiago (Chile) was determined using a Total Diet Study in the market basket modality. After conducting a survey of the foods consumed in the last 24 h, the most consumed food products were included in the basket. Subsequently, they were cooked or prepared according to typical Chilean procedures and grouped into 17 food categories according to their chemical characteristics. The fish and shellfish group had the highest contents of As (1351 ng/g wet weight, ww), Cd (277 ng/g ww), and Hg (48 ng/g ww), while the sugar group had the highest content of Pb (251 ng/g ww). For a person with a body weight of 68 kg, the dietary intakes of As (77 microg/day), Cd (20 microg/day), Hg (5 microg/day), and Pb (206 microg/day) are lower than the provisional tolerable weekly intake values established by the FAO/WHO. Consequently, the total intakes of As, Cd, Hg, and Pb in Santiago (Chile) are within the limits estimated as safe.

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