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Preliminary investigation of metal and metalloid contamination of homeopathic products marketed in Croatia

Tumir, Hrvoje; Bošnir, Jasna; Vedrina-Dragojević, Irena; Dragun, Zrinka; Tomić, Siniša; Puntarić, Dinko (2010) Preliminary investigation of metal and metalloid contamination of homeopathic products marketed in Croatia. Homeopathy, 99 (3). pp. 183-188. ISSN 1475-4916

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Due to their exceptional popularity in adjuvant therapy of many chronic and acute diseases, homeopathic products of animal, vegetable, mineral and chemical origin should be tested for the presence of contaminants to prevent eventual toxic effects. Thirty samples of homeopathic products were analysed in order to estimate their possible contamination with potentially toxic elements Pb, Cd, As, Hg, Cr, Ni and Zn, and to assess the human exposure to these metals/metalloid as a consequence of consumption of tested medicines. Atomic absorption spectrometry was used for the determination of metal and metalloid concentrations. A large number of tested products had very low metal/metalloid levels (below limit of the quantification of applied method), whereas the metal/metalloid levels in the remaining products were in the following ranges (in g g-1): Pb 0.33-1.29 (6 samples), Cd 2.78 (1 sample), As 0.22 (1 sample), Hg 0.02-0.12 (24 samples), Cr 0.40-10.27 (10 samples), Ni 0.43-55.00 (19 samples), and Zn 2.20-27.80 (11 samples). In the absence of adopted regulative for homeopathic products, obtained results were compared to maximum allowable levels (MAL) as proposed by USP Ad Hoc Advisory Panel. Several analyzed formulations had metal levels above MALs (Pb: 2 samples ; Cd: 1 sample ; Ni: 2 samples). However, estimated cumulative daily intakes from tested homeopathic products were in all cases lower than permitted daily exposures for all dosage forms. Possible bioaccumulation of metals/metalloid from the homeopathic medicines seem to be rather low, due to small quantities of those products prescribed to be applied per day, as well as insignificant metal contamination of the majority of tested products. However, the fact that particular formulations were contaminated by metals above maximum allowable levels presents a warning and points to the necessity of regular monitoring of homeopathic products for metal contamination, due to their frequent and mostly unsupervised use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: metals; metalloids; homeopathic medicinal products; atomic absorption spectrometry
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Chemistry > Analytic Chemistry
BIOMEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE > Public Health and Health Care
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Istraživanje dugotrajnih posljedica ratnih zbivanja na zdravlje stanovništva[202820] Dinko Puntarić219-1080315-0288MZOS
Zdravlje na radu i zdravi okoliš[168405] Jadranka Mustajbegović108-1080316-0300MZOS
Stanične promjene u vodnih organizama pobuđene metalima[40333] Biserka Raspor098-0982934-2721MZOS
Depositing User: Zrinka Dragun
Date Deposited: 17 May 2015 15:40
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2010.05.001

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