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Mac Monagail, M,Cummins, E,Bermejo, R,Daly, E,Costello, D,Morrison, L
2018
September
Environment International
Quantification and feed to food transfer of total and inorganic arsenic from a commercial seaweed feed
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Animal food Arsenic Population health Seaweed Exposure assessment TRACE-ELEMENT CONTAMINATION BOVINE-MILK DIETARY EXPOSURE DRINKING-WATER RISK MYCOTOXINS TISSUES SPECIATION MERCURY IMPACT
118
314
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Seaweed has a long-associated history of use as a supplemented livestock feed, providing nutrients and vitamins essential to maintaining animal health. Some species of seaweed, particularly the fucoids, are well-known accumulators of the metalloid arsenic (As). Arsenic toxicity to humans is well established even at low exposure levels and is considered a class 1 human carcinogen. As mankind's appetite for livestock produce continues to grow unabated, there is a concern that consumption of livestock produce reared on a diet supplemented with seaweed animal feed (SAF) may pose a threat to the human population due to potentially high levels of As present in seaweed. To address this concern and provide end users, including industry, consumers, policymakers and regulators with information on the exposure associated with As in commercial seaweed animal feed, the estimated daily intake (EDI) of As was calculated to evaluate potential human exposure levels. Using As data from a commercially available seaweed meal over a five-year period (2012-2017) a population exposure assessment was carried out. A Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to characterise the feed to food transfer of As from animal feed to animal produce such as beef, milk, chicken, and eggs. The model examined initial levels in seaweed, inclusion rate in animal feed, animal feeding rates and potential transfer to food produced from a supplemented diet of SAF. The analysis of seaweed animal feed showed that inorganic As was a small fraction of the total As found in seaweed meal (80: 1). Statistical analysis found significant differences in the concentration of As in seaweed animal feed depending on the grain size (p < 0.001), with higher As concentrations in smaller sized grain fractions. Due to several detoxification steps and subsequent rapid excretion from the bodies of livestock, a very low carryover rate of As compounds from seaweed animal feed into livestock produce was observed. The EDI calculated in this study for the livestock produce evaluated at the 95th confidence interval was < 0.01% of suggested safe levels of inorganic As intake. The threat to the general population as a result of consumption of livestock products reared on a diet consisting of SAF is found to be negligible.
10.1016/j.envint.2018.05.032
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