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Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Mar;53:256-62. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.12.015. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Risk assessment of heavy metals in honey consumed in Zhejiang province, southeastern China.

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College of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China.


The levels of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg) in eight types of honey collected in China were determined. The average concentrations of the six heavy metals in the honey samples were 46.18, 1329.5, 1.34, 33.98, 13.44, and 1.65 μg kg(-1), respectively. All these values were below the maximum allowable contaminant levels in foods (GB2762-2005) and honey (GB14963-2011) in China. The hazard quotients of individual heavy metals and the hazard index of all six heavy metals were far below one, indicating no chronic-toxic risk from these metals for the inhabitants of Zhejiang under the current consumption rates of honey. However, the carcinogenic risk of As for the female inhabitants in Zhejiang exceeded the acceptable level of 10(-4). Therefore, As is the most concerning heavy metal in honey.

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