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APPROACH FOR ASSESSING RISK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS PRESENT IN BOTANICAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Huggett, D. B., D. S. Block, I. A. Khan, J. C. Allgood, AND W H. Benson. APPROACH FOR ASSESSING RISK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS PRESENT IN BOTANICAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. SETAC 20th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 14-18 November 1999.
Botanical dietary supplements have a long history of use in Europe and China, but they are becoming increasing popular in the United States. Since these products are classified as herbals, the United States Food and Drug Administration does not regulate nor monitor these supplements for environmental contaminants. As a model botanical dietary supplement, ginseng was purchased commercially from the United States, Europe and China. Samples were analyzed for metals (cadmium, nickel, etc.) and chlorinated pesticides (PCNB, DDT and metabolites, etc.). Flame and furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometery were utilized for analysis of metals, while gas chromatography (GC) and GC-mass spectrophotometery were utilized for analysis of chlorinated pesticides. Since no formalized guidelines exist for the determination of risk in botanical dietary supplements, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for protection of human health were utilized. Metals and chlorinated organics were present in ginseng samples, but these concentrations pose a low noncarcinogenic hazard; however, chlorinated organics, such as aldrin and heptachlor epoxide, presented serious risk when present. Through this process, several data gaps and research needs were identified.