Date de publication: 2019

Aluminum and tin are ubiquitous in the environment. In normal biological systems, however, they are present only in trace amounts and have no recognized biological functions in humans. High exposure to these metals can result in adverse health effects such as neurodegenerative diseases. In non-occupationally exposed subjects, diet is the primary source of exposure. In this study, we aimed at estimating dietary aluminum and tin intake in an Italian adult population. We measured aluminum and tin concentrations through inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry in 908 food samples. We also estimated dietary intake of these two metals, by using a validated semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire administered to 719 subjects (319 men and 400 women) recruited from the general population of the Emilia Romagna region, Northern Italy. We found the highest aluminum levels in legumes, sweets, and cereals, while the highest tin levels were in sweets, meat and seafood. The estimated median daily dietary intake of aluminum was 4.1 mg/day (Interquartile range - IQR: 3.3-5.2), with a major contribution from beverages (28.6%), cereals (16.9%), and leafy vegetables (15.2%). As for tin, we estimated a median intake of 66.8 μg/day (IQR: 46.7-93.7), with a major contribution from vegetables (mainly tomatoes) (24.9%), fruit (15.5%), aged cheese (12.2%), and processed meat (10.4%). This study provides an updated estimate of the dietary intake of aluminum and tin in a Northern-Italy adult population, based on data from a validated food-frequency questionnaire. The intake determined for this population does not exceed the established thresholds of tolerable intake.

Keywords: Aluminum; Dietary intake; Food contamination; Food safety; Tin.

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2019 Mar;52:293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.01.012. Epub 2019 Jan 23. PMID: 30732896