Dietary Estimated Intake of Trace Elements: Risk Assessment in an Italian Population

Tommaso Filippini, Stefano Tancredi, Carlotta Malagoli, Marcella Malavolti, Annalisa Bargellini, Luciano Vescovi, Fausto Nicolini, Marco Vinceti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary intake to trace elements may represent the most relevant source of exposure for the general, non-occupationally population, but some of them have been rarely evaluated. We measured content of fifteen trace elements (antimony, barium, beryllium, boron, cobalt, lithium, molybdenum, nickel, silver, strontium, tellurium, thallium, titanium, uranium, and vanadium) in 908 food and beverage samples through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We estimated their dietary intake using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire collected from a population of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. We compared our estimates with tolerable upper intake levels reported by international agencies and we assessed the non-carcinogenic risk through calculation of total hazard quotient for each trace element according to the US-EPA approach. Overall, estimates of their dietary intake were substantially similar to those reported from other countries, and they fell below the tolerable upper intake levels provided by international agencies. The total hazard quotient for each trace element was below 1. Our findings provide updated estimates of food levels and dietary intake of trace elements far frequently evaluated in a sample of Italian adult consumers. They also suggest that any non-carcinogenic risk associated with intake of investigated trace elements may be ruled out in our population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExposure and Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Dietary intake
  • Food contamination
  • Food safety
  • Risk assessment
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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