Problem statement: This study's goal was to assess the arsenic concentration of various beverages and broths purchased from a local chain supermarket. A source of chronic arsenic exposure occurs via food and beverage consumption. Groundwater levels of total arsenic are regulated (<10 μg L-1) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but few studies have examined arsenic concentrations in common beverages. Approach: In the initial analysis of 19 items, total arsenic concentration was assessed from a variety of fruit juices, sports drinks, sodas and broths. Items found to contain levels of total arsenic ≥5.0 μg L-1 were further evaluated. Additional analysis included purchasing multiple brands of items ≥5.0 μg L-1and analyzing them for total arsenic and chemical species of arsenic. Results: Among the beverages in the initial analysis, apple juice (10.79 μg L-1) and grape juice (49.87 μg L-1) contained the highest levels of total arsenic. Upon examination of items with As concentrations above 5.0 μg L-1, varying concentrations of total arsenic were found in apple cider (range: 5.41-15.27 μg L-1), apple juice (range: 10.67-22.35 μg L-1), baby fruit juice (range: 13.91-16.51 μg L-1) and grape juice (range: 17.69-47.59 μg L-1). Conclusion: Many commercially available juices contained concentrations of arsenic that were higher than the standard for total arsenic allowed in groundwater as set forth by the EPA. The concentration of As in these juices varied between and within brands. In general, those consuming apple and grape juices are the young and elderly and it is these populations that may be more vulnerable to over exposure of heavy metals.
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