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.