Dietary intake of metals by the population of Tarragona County (Catalonia, Spain): results from a duplicate diet study.

Research paper by José L JL Domingo, Gemma G Perelló, Jordi J Giné Bordonaba

Indexed on: 30 Nov '11Published on: 30 Nov '11Published in: Biological Trace Element Research


The daily intakes of arsenic (As), beryllium, cadmium (Cd), cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury (Hg), manganese, nickel, lead (Pb), antimony, tin, thallium, uranium, vanadium, and zinc by an adult population living in Tarragona County (Catalonia, Spain) were determined by the duplicate diet method with a 10-day sampling period. Duplicate diet samples, prepared as per consumption, were collected during September 2010 in 20 restaurants offering a variety of daily menus (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). A total of 200 composite samples, corresponding to 600 individual samples, were prepared for trace elements analyses, which were carried out by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The results were compared with data from previous total diet studies (TDS) recently performed in the same geographical area. Notable differences in the intake of the toxic elements As, Cd, Hg, and Pb were found depending on the method used. It is concluded that both the duplicate diet method and the TDS may provide important and useful information to estimate human exposure to metals through the diet and their derived health risks. However, for comparison between surveys or for establishing temporal trends in the intake of metals, it seems to be recommendable to use always the same method. Notwithstanding, if the interest is only to know whether the intake of a certain element is below the tolerable intake, both methods are useful.