Rare earth element as the emerging contaminants in black tea - risk assessment resulting from the dietary exposure
Sloth, Jens, Jorgen
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In the recent years, a great increase of the interest in the rare earth elements (REEs) has been observed. Due to their specific properties, they are used in several areas including medicine, agriculture and some branches of modern technologies, e.g. electronics, mobile com- munication, LED light bulbs, catalysts, electric cars or fuel additives. Consequently, more and more of the elements are getting into the environment, accumulating in soil, water, organisms, and thus enter- ing into the food chain. This may lead to an increase in the exposure to REEs. Inhalation and consumption of contaminated foods and bev- erages have been indicated as the main pathways of the exposure to REEs. Levels of REEs in black teas were determined by inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after acid pressure digestion based on the principles of the European standard methods EN 13808:2014 and EN 15763:2009. Risk assessment of the exposure to REEs resulting from tea consumption was performed using the data from the Danish food survey on ingestion of tea and determined lev- els of REEs. As the REEs has only started to be perceived as the emerg- ing contaminants, there are no reference values such as NOAEL, ML, or ADI established in the European Union.
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