New Authorized Limits For Cadmium And Lead In Some Foods

The European Commission has established new maximum limits for cadmium and lead in some foods to avoid their toxicity if they are exceeded in the daily diet. The body’s goal is to reduce exposure to heavy metals, such as mercury, lead or arsenic, which have negative consequences for our health.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has detected intakes above those recommended in various population groups of these substances and has therefore decided to lower the limits to provide food safety.

What are the limits for cadmium?
As stated in the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) , cadmium is a toxic element and really harmful to the kidneys, since it can even cause kidney failure. But where is it located? The main source of this compound is in the diet, especially in vegetables, legumes, nuts, potatoes, meats or crustaceans.

Vegetarians, those who smoke and children are the population groups most exposed to exceeding the recommended weekly limits for cadmium , with the risk that this entails for their health.

Therefore, the EFSA has determined a maximum intake limit of 2.5 micrograms per kilogram of weight per week. Some limits established for products such as cereals, legumes, meats, mollusks, chocolate and products with cocoa, beets, garlic, red fruits, nuts, fish and salt.

And the lead ones? Where is it located?
Lead is a natural pollutant that is present in the environment, the use of which has been prohibited in certain objects due to the knowledge of the health risks of its exposure. “It can produce neurotoxicity in the development of fetuses, babies and children. In addition, this heavy metal can cause cardiovascular problems in adults”, indicates the OCU.

It is present in cereals, seeds, vegetables or green leafy vegetables, although it accumulates mainly in seafood and meats . The EFSA has limited lead levels in baby food, meat offal, uncultivated mushrooms and in salt. It has also set maximum limits on certain spices, such as turmeric.