Arsenic discovered in young chickens - Dangerous Levels to Humans

From the LA Times:,1,7265509.story

Elevated levels of arsenic discovered in young chickens

Jane E. Allen
Eating chicken may account for more of your exposure to poisonous arsenic — also found in drinking water, dust and some other foods than previously realized.

Arsenic is an approved animal-feed supplement used to kill intestinal parasites in chickens. Most of it leaves the chicken's body as waste, but some stays behind, researchers reported in January's Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that young chickens contain three to four times more arsenic than other poultry and meat.

Many Americans have turned to chicken as a source of lean protein because they're worried about mad cow disease in beef or mercury contamination in fish, or because they're on high-protein diets.

At average levels of chicken consumption — 2 ounces a day, or the equivalent of a third to half of a boneless chicken breast — people ingest about 3.6 to 5.2 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of the element, according to the study led by Tamar Lasky, an epidemiologist. But people who eat a lot of chicken may ingest 10 times that amount, the study found. Daily exposures of 10 to 40 micrograms are associated with skin, respiratory and bladder cancers.

Lasky suggested that people worried about potential arsenic exposure might want to choose chicken raised without antibiotics and other feed additives, often marketed as organic.

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