Risk assessment of antimony, barium, beryllium, boron, bromine, lithium, nickel, strontium, thallium and uranium concentrations in the New Zealand diet.
Identifying and monitoring dietary toxicants is an important component of contemporary food safety systems. To characterise their potential dietary risks, analysis was undertaken of 10 elements: antimony, barium, beryllium, boron, bromine, lithium, nickel, strontium, thallium and uranium in 132 different food types. All 10 elements were reported as quantified in aportion of the analysed foods, with prevalence ranging from less than 1% for antimony to 98% for barium. Dietary exposure assessment was undertaken for 10 New Zealand population cohorts using apublished simulated diet, and proportionality of food groups to total exposure identified. Characterisation against health-based guidance values identified no dietary risk from exposures to beryllium, boron, bromine, lithium, strontium and uranium to any of the population cohorts. For antimony and thallium, the exposure range for infants was calculated to exceed the health-based guidance value, and for barium and nickel, all mean exposures were above the health-based guidance value for younger population cohorts. Although some conservatism in applying upper-bound mean exposures reduces the likelihood of asignificant dietary risk, further laboratory method development and analysis of these elements in the New Zealand diet would be beneficial to ensure protection of New Zealand public health.view journal