Estimation of Dietary Intake of Inorganic Arsenic in U.S. Children
Arsenic is a natural component of the environment and is ubiquitous in soils, water, and the diet. Because dietary intake can be a significant source of background exposure to inorganic arsenic (the most toxicologically significant form), accurate intake estimates are needed to provide a context for risk management of arsenic exposure. Intake of inorganic arsenic by adults is fairly well characterized, but previous estimates of childhood intake were based on inorganic arsenic analyses in a limited number of foods (13 food types). This article estimates dietary intake for U.S. children (1 to 6 years of age) based on reported inorganic arsenic concentrations in 38 foods and in water used in cooking those foods (inorganic arsenic concentration of 0.8 μg/L), and U.S. Department of Agriculture food consumption data. This information is combined using a probabilistic software model to extract food consumption patterns and compute exposure distributions. The mean childhood dietary intake estimate for inorganic arsenic was 3.2 μg/day with a range of 1.6 to 6.2 μg/day for the 10th and 95th percentiles, respectively. For both the mean and 95th percentile inorganic arsenic intake rates, intake was predominantly contributed by grain and grain products, fruits and fruit juices, rice and rice products, and milk.
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