Title

Public health risks from heavy metals and metalloids present in traditional Chinese medicines

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cooper, K, Noller, B, Connell, D, Yu, J, Sadler, R, Olszowy, H, Golding, G, Tinggi, U, Moore, MR & Myers, SP 2007, 'Public health risks from heavy metals and metalloids present in traditional Chinese medicines', Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A: Current Issues, vol. 70, no. 19, pp. 1694-1699.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15287390701434885

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Out of 247 traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) investigated, a proportion were contaminated with arsenic (5-15%), lead (¡­5%), and mercury (¡­65%). Some preparations exceeded the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for males and females for arsenic (4 and 5 products, respectively), lead (1 and 2 products), and mercury (5 and 7 products). These exceedances were as high as 2760-fold, which posed a potential danger to public health. As many users are known to self-prescribe, there is a substantial risk of poisoning from the consumption of these contaminated TCM.