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Food and Beverage

Benzene in BeveragesiStock_000004834712XSmall

In 2008, the media reported that benzene was detected in various kinds of beverages and that the public was at risk from drinking the contaminated products. Cardno ChemRisk experts designed a sampling plan for testing benzene in non-carbonated beverages available at local grocery stores and analyzed the laboratory results. Using models to estimate lifetime average daily doses, the risks associated with drinking the beverages were calculated. These values were compared to federal and state risk criteria to assess potential cancer risk. See this publication for more information. 





Persistent Chemicals in FishiStock_000013629757XSmall

It has been reported that chemicals which bioaccumulate in fish can serve as a source of exposure to humans.  To understand the concentrations of some persistent chemicals in fish and the potential for human exposure from ingestion of fish, Cardno ChemRisk experts designed and implemented a biomonitoring study to measure dioxins, furans, PCBs, and PBDEs in wild-caught and farm-raised catfish from southern Mississippi.  The results of this study indicated that levels of dioxin-like compounds, PBDEs, and PCBs in Mississippi catfish are similar to those measured in recent studies in the U.S. and that levels of the dioxin-like compounds and PCBs appear to be decreasing in this food source.  Evaluation of the cancer risk and the non-cancer hazard indicated that health risks/hazards due to fish consumption in adults are substantially lower than risk levels generally considered to be of minimum level of concern. See this Chemosphere and Organo Compounds abstract for more information.

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Mercury in Soft Drinks iStock_000013391434XSmall

In response to allegations of two mercury poisoning incidents in China, Cardno ChemRisk was asked by a multi-national beverage manufacturer to determine whether their bottling facility was the source of the mercury. After reviewing the bottling process, Cardno ChemRisk scientists established and carried out a sampling campaign at the facility. The levels of mercury were compared to local ambient levels of mercury and relevant regulatory levels.  We found below background levels of mercury throughout the facility, which indicated that the bottling facility could not have been the source of the mercury, nor could it have caused mercury poisoning in the consumers.  Our results were later confirmed as authorities found deliberate consumer contamination of the product.

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spray_candyNonylphenol Ethoxylates in Liquid Spray Candy

Liquid spray candy distributed in several countries was determined to contain a chemical contaminant known as nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE).  The candy products were sampled by the manufacturer after the initial discovery of NPEs, and concentrations of NPEs in candy were evaluated by two analytical laboratories using either a liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC/MS) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methodology. Cardno ChemRisk evaluated the human health risks associated with consumption of NPEs in candy products by comparing the estimated intake of NPEs to a minimum risk level (MRL) or reference dose (RfD) using standard approaches for evaluating risk. Daily exposure estimates were calculated for children on a country-specific basis using both deterministic and probabilistic approaches.

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Plastic Particle Contamination in Cheese

Cardno ChemRisk® was contacted by a cheese manufacturer to assess the public health risk posed by polypropylene plastic particles that had broken off the food processing equipment and contaminated several batches of bulk cheese. The manufacturer was interested in assessing whether the presence of plastic in the cheese constituted a health hazard for consumers and whether a recall for the potentially contaminated batches of cheese should be issued.

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