jueves, 30 de octubre de 2008

Euro wines carrying potentially dangerous levels of heavy metals

UK researchers have discovered most European wine nations are exporting red and white wines with potentially dangerous levels of at least seven heavy metals.
One glass of wine per day could end up more costly than you imagined according to Kingston University in London scientists Declan Naughton and Andrea Petroczi.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has designed a measure of ‘target hazard quotients’ (THQs) to determine the safe levels of frequent, long-term exposure to various chemicals, which Naughton calculated for 15 wines from Europe, the Middle East, and South America.
Typical wines have a THQ ranging from 50 to 200 per glass with some up 300, while in comparison seafood THQs that typically range between 1 and 5 have raised concerns about heavy-metal contamination.
A THQ over 1 indicates a health risk. "I was surprised at this finding, and would be very interested if regulatory authorities and food-safety people will look at this. The wine industry should look at ways to remove these metals from wine, or to find out where the metals come from and prevent this from happening", Mr Naughton said.
Vanadium, copper and manganese accounted for the majority of contamination, but zinc, chromium, lead and nickel were also found with THQs over 1. University of Rochester, N.Y behavioral neurotoxicologist Bernard Weiss, PhD is most worried about the effects of one metal in particular – manganese, which accumulates in the brain and has been linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Wines from Italy, Brazil and Argentina however, were found to have safe levels of heavy metals. The worst level of THQs were found in wines from: Hungary, Slovakia, France, Austria, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Jordan, Macedonia and Serbia. In the cases of France, Austria, Spain, Germany, and Portugal’s maximum potential THQ values were over 100, while Hungary and Slovakia had maximum potential THQ values over 350. Argentinean and Italian wines had no significant maximum THQ values.
Possible sources for the heavy metal contamination include the soil of the vineyards, fungicides used, and contaminants in the fermenting yeasts. Naughton and Petroczi calculated THQs from data published in scientific journals rather than directly measuring the wines. They also point out that drinking red wine has been linked to health benefits because of its antioxidants. "However, the finding of hazardous levels of metal ions which can be pro-oxidants leads to a major question mark over the protective benefits of red wine," they suggest.
Source: Chemistry Central Journal. Oct 29 2008
Aporte: Guillermo Figueroa

No hay comentarios.: