Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Is There a Need for Alcohol Policy to Mitigate Metal Contamination in Unrecorded Fruit Spirits?

Version 1 : Received: 9 March 2020 / Approved: 10 March 2020 / Online: 10 March 2020 (02:44:16 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Lachenmeier, D.W. Is There a Need for Alcohol Policy to Mitigate Metal Contamination in Unrecorded Fruit Spirits? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2452. Lachenmeier, D.W. Is There a Need for Alcohol Policy to Mitigate Metal Contamination in Unrecorded Fruit Spirits? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2452.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2452
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17072452

Abstract

Unrecorded alcohol comprises all types of alcohol that is not registered in the jurisdiction where it is consumed. In some countries in Central and Eastern parts of Europe as well as the Balkan, the major amount of unrecorded alcohol consumption may derive from homeproduction of fruit spirits. Some studies found a high prevalence of lead and cadmium in such spirits. This article provides a quantitative comparative risk assessment using the margin of exposure (MOE) methodology for lead and cadmium, compared to ethanol, for unrecorded fruit spirits. For average concentration levels, the lowest MOE (0.8) was calculated for ethanol (alcohol itself). For lead, the MOE was 13 for moderate daily drinking and 0.9 for the worst case. For cadmium, the MOE was 1982 for moderate daily drinking and 113 for the worst case. The results of this study are consistent with previous comparative risk assessments that ethanol itself comprises by far the highest risk of all compounds in alcoholic beverages. Regarding the metal contaminants, the risk of cadmium appears negligible, however, lead may pose an additional health risk in heavy drinking circumstances. Strategies to avoid metal contamination in settings of artisanal homeproduction of spirits need to be developed.

Subject Areas

unrecorded alcohol; home-produced fruit spirits; metals; lead; cadmium; ethanol; health risk; risk assessment; margin of exposure

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