Science Inventory

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND POTENTIAL HUMAN RISK ASSOCIATED WITH SELECTED BOTANICAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

Citation:

Huggett, D. B., D. S. Block, J. C. Allgood, I. A. Khan, D. K. Schlenk, AND W H. Benson. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND POTENTIAL HUMAN RISK ASSOCIATED WITH SELECTED BOTANICAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. Presented at 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, SOT 2000, Philadelpia, PA, 19-23 March 2000.

Description:

Botanical dietary supplements have a long history of use in Europe and China and they are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. However, little data is available regarding environmental contaminants in botanical dietary supplements and the risk posed to those ingesting contaminated supplements. To investigate this data gap, Ginseng, St. Johns Wart, Passion Flower, Echinacea, and Valarian were purchased from commercial suppliers in the United States, Europe and China. Samples were analyzed for metals (arsenic, cadmium, nickel, chromium, and lead) and chlorinated pesticides (PCNB, DDT and metabolites, aldrin, etc.). Flame and furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry were used for analysis of metals, while gas chromatography was utilized for analysis of chlorinated pesticides. Since no formalized guidelines exist for the determination of risk and hazard in botanical dietary supplements, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for the protection of human health were used. Metals and chlorinated organics were present in all samples analyzed, but these concentrations pose a low noncarcinogenic hazard (<0.2); however, chlorinated pesticides exceeded the 1x10-6 risk threshold in Ginseng (24%), Passion Flower (40%), Valarian (45%), Echinacea (29%) and St. John's Wart (58%) samples at a dose of 1000mg/day (a medium to high dose depending on the supplement). If a low dose of supplement is taken daily (100 mg), then only one of the samples exceeded 1x10-6 risk. In addition, a reduction in exposure duration (from 350 d to 42 d) significantly reduced the calculated risk.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 03/23/2000
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 60103

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE