Heavy Metal Screening Tool
PUBLISHED ON Jun 1, 2021
LAST UPDATED Jun 1, 2021
Metadata Updated: June 01, 2022
"The frequency of detection of trace or higher levels of metal in foods and food ingredients has been on the rise over the past decade. This is due in part to improvement in analytical methodology to detect and quantify at low levels, in the parts per billion (ppb), or lower range." This tool is "designed to be used by risk assessors/managers to rapidly evaluate potential public health risk when confronted with the detection of select heavy metals in foods and food ingredients."

The HMST is composed of three key elements of a dietary risk assessment: 1) hazard characterization, 2) dietary exposure assessment and 3) risk characterization. The tool (HMST), available below, "has been parameterized with objective and publicly available data (NHANES, TDS, FCID and published exposure limits and background exposure information) and the algorithm used in HMST are based on well -defined dietary exposure and risk assessment constructs." The tool "should be viewed as the beginning of a broader and iterative assessment process, such that for issues not set aside using HMST, more refine risk assessment based on improved data and with less reliance on conservative default assumptions would need to be carried out."

This tool is a joint initiative of the University of Maryland's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (UMD JIFSAN) and the Institute for the Advancement of Nutrition and Food Sciences (IAFNS). The levels calculated by this tool are not regulatory levels or limits under consideration by FDA; nor should this tool be used to determine compliance with any FDA guidance or regulations