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Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Oct;40(10):1423-31.

Arsenic levels in cooked food and assessment of adult dietary intake of arsenic in the Region Lagunera, Mexico.

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Sección Externa de Toxicología, Cinvestav-IPN, Mexico, DF, Mexico.


The aim of this paper is to estimate the levels of arsenic (As) ingestion through cooked foods consumed in an arsenic endemic area and the assessment of their dietary intake of As. The study was conducted in two villages: a population chronically exposed to a high concentration of As via drinking water (410+/-35 microg/l) and to a low-exposure group (12+/-4 microg/l). A 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was applied to about 25 adult participants in each community. Samples of cooked food, ready for intake, were collected separately from each family's participants. To obtain the As estimate for each food item consumed, the mean quantity of food ingested in grams (wet weight) was calculated and the concentrations of total arsenic (TAs) in each cooked food were determined. The estimations of TAs intake were based on the sum over mean of As ingested from each food item consumed during the 24-h period for each participant. For the estimation of total daily As intake, we summed the mean obtained from food, plain water and hot beverage intakes. The TAs average intakes calculated for low-As-exposure group were 0.94 and 0.76 microg/kg body weight/day, for both summer and winter exposure scenarios, respectively. These values are 44.7 and 36% of the provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI) for inorganic arsenic (2.14 microg/kg body weight/day), established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1989. The WHO reference value was obtained on a weekly basis intake estimation assuming an average body weight of 68 kg in adults. In contrast, for the high-exposure group the TAs average intakes were 16.6 and 12.3 microg/kg body weight/day for summer and winter, respectively. Ingestion via cooked food represented 32.5 and 43.9% of the total daily As intake in the high-exposure group; for summer and winter, respectively. None the less, the bioavailability of As through food can be different than via drinking water.

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