Heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) have the potential to cause neurocognitive impairment to infants and young children who are exposed to them in their diets. These elements can also cause chronic toxicological effects in older children and adults. To help address these risks it is important to identify which foods contain the highest levels of these metals; and based on US consumption of these foods by age group, which food-metal combinations cause the greatest potential exposure via diets. This research will examine which foods contain the highest levels of heavy metals; and based on US consumption of these foods by different age groups, which food-metal dyads cause the greatest human exposures. The researchers will then explore mitigation strategies to reduce these most severe exposures. Feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the strategies must be assessed to provide a realistic picture of what we can achieve in the short term to quickly lower exposures.
Institution: Michigan State University
Principal Investigator: Felica Wu, PhD.
Amount Awarded: $80,000
Date Awarded: May 5, 2022
This project is supported by the IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee.