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Chemical Risks

Author: FSA

The purpose of this survey was to investigate the levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic in muscle and kidneys from cattle and sheep. 207 samples of muscle and kidney from England and Wales were tested for total arsenic and inorganic arsenic.

Where concentrations of total arsenic could be measured the levels were found to be low. The level of total arsenic was measured in 71 out of the 103 (69%) samples of kidney and 9 out of the 104 (9%) samples of muscle.The more harmful inorganic arsenic was found at low concentrations in just two samples of kidney and in none of the muscle samples.

The results were used to estimate the dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic and total arsenic from kidneys and meat from cattle and sheep. These indicated that kidney and meat from cattle and sheep provides a minor contribution to the overall human dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic and total arsenic.

The data do not raise food safety concerns, and there is no need for consumers to change their eating habits.

FSA arsenic survey

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