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Total copper intakes below new safe level

Combined exposure Concentration or amount of a particular substance that is taken in by an individual, population or ecosystem in a specific frequency over a certain amount of time. to copper from all sources does not pose health concerns for the EU population Community of humans, animals or plants from the same species., say EFSA’s scientific experts.


Copper is an essential micronutrient Nutrient required by the body in tiny amounts for normal growth, development and maintenance of health; for example, vitamins and minerals. for all living beings including humans. Too much or too little copper in the diet can lead to health problems. It is naturally present in many foods and also enters the food chain through its use in organic and conventional pesticides, feed and food additives, and as a nutrient An element or compound needed for normal growth, development and health maintenance. Essential nutrients cannot be made by the body and must, therefore, be consumed from food. in fortified foods and food supplements.

Excessive copper retention in the body over time could be toxic for humans, especially to the liver. EFSA’s Scientific Committee has concluded that no retention of copper is expected to occur with an intake The amount of a substance (e.g. nutrient or chemical) that is ingested by a person or animal via the diet. of up to 5 mg per day and established an acceptable daily intake An estimate of the amount of a substance in food or drinking water that can be consumed daily over a lifetime without presenting an appreciable risk to health. It is usually expressed as milligrams of the substance per kilogram of body weight per day and applies to chemical substances such as food additives, pesticide residues and veterinary drugs. (safe level) of 0.07 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for the adult population. Our nutrition The science of how diet relates to the body's need for sustenance. experts will establish acceptable intakes for younger age groups as a follow-up.

For the first time with this substance, our experts estimated exposure to copper from all dietary and non-dietary sources. Naturally occurring background levels of copper in food and food ingredients and long-term use of copper utensils and copper pipes are significant contributors to intake. However, the contribution of pesticides, food and feed additives, or fertilisers is negligible.

Infant formula and follow-on formula Breast milk substitute aimed at infants who have commenced complementary feeding (i.e. the introduction of solid foods at or around 6 months of age). are important contributors to dietary exposure For the purposes of risk assessment, measurement of the amount of a substance consumed by a person or animal in their diet that is intentionally added or unintentionally present (e.g. a nutrient, additive or pesticide). to copper in infants and toddlers. However, adverse effects from exposure to copper in children are not expected due to children’s higher nutrient requirements for growth.

In a previous assessment our experts addressed copper deficiency A lack of a necessary factor in, for example, the diet or the environment which results in harm to the growth of an organism. and adequate intakes for all age groups.

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