Are children and the general public in Luxembourg more exposed to heavy metals? In a parliamentary question, Deputy DP Casti Gross describes the results of a study conducted in France: “Frequent intake of vegetables from organic farming is associated with an increase in the concentration of copper in the urine”. He wonders about the interest of such an investigation in Luxembourg.
Health Minister Ballet Lenard confirmed on Tuesday that no such study had been launched in Luxembourg. And there is nothing like it in the pipe. This does not prevent government services from being vigilant on the issue through “targeted measures”.
Resident exposure to heavy metals is indirectly monitored by national monitoring programs. In fact, samples taken to assess consumer exposure are explored for undesirable substances from a health perspective. Thus, trends can be identified and potential health risks can be identified quickly, ”the minister assured.
Lead, Mercury, Arsenic …
Among the heavy metals most often “associated with human poisoning” are lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and tin. Since 2009, 4,827 analyzes have been conducted on beverages and food in Luxembourg.
Exposure factors were also questioned, with Ballet Lenert citing natural emissions (volcanic eruptions, rock erosion), and human activity (foundries, mining, fossil fuel production, agriculture). They are present in air, water and soil. They can accumulate in plants and be consumed by animals. Metals are found in ecosystems, especially sewage sludge, chemicals or road traffic emissions, ”he concludes.
Following the release of the study in July, Public Health France recommended limiting fish consumption twice a week and stopping smoking. But a real public health solution would consist of “acting on sources of exposure”.
(Th / Essential)
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