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ABSTRACT

Nineteen beer brands from the Italian market were surveyed for the presence of arsenic, cadmium and lead in January of 2007. Detection was performed by means of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Average arsenic content was 10.82±5.54 μg/L, while cadmium (0.16±0.15 μg/L) and lead (1.84±3.24 μg/L) were significantly lower (P<0.05). Overall, this survey indicated that beer may contribute heavy metals to the diet. Nevertheless, the dietary exposure to these contaminants is unlikely to constitute a hazard to the consumer's health due to the low level of contamination found and to the low annual per capita consumption of beer in Italy.