The US FDA decision to establish this action level comes after a magazine story published in 2011 regarding the level of arsenic in apple juice, subsequent testing of apple juice and other products by the US FDA and a new quantitative risk assessment (3). Arsenic comes in both inorganic and organic forms and the inorganic form is considered more toxic than the organic form. Consumption of inorganic arsenic has been associated with cancer, skin lesions, developmental issues, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes in humans (4).
Action Level for Inorganic Arsenic
The US FDA has established the action level for inorganic arsenic in apple juice of 10 parts per billion (ppb) or micrograms/kilogram (ug/kg) which is the same level the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has established for total arsenic in drinking water (5). This action level is for single strength (ready to drink) apple juice. It is lower than the US FDA 23 ppb level of concern established in 2008 for inorganic arsenic in single strength (ready to drink) apple juice.
(1) “Why FDA Proposes an ‘Action Level’ for Arsenic in Apple Juice”, FDA Voice (http://blogs.fda.gov/
(2) “Draft Guidance for Industry: Arsenic in Apple Juice - Action Level”, FDA (http://www.fda.gov/
(3) Quantitative Assessment of Inorganic Arsenic in Apple Juice (http://www.fda.gov/
(4) “Evaluation of Certain Contaminants in Food”, WHO Technical Report (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
(5) List of Drinking Water Contaminants (http://water.epa.gov/
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