Neglected importance of cumulative exposure to phosphorus in drinking water and food products
ID Jereb, Gregor (Author), ID Poljšak, Borut (Author), ID Eržen, Ivan (Author)

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Using a risk assessment approach possible health risks from different chemicals or other environmental stressors could be assessed. The method is widely used for regulatory risk assessment of chemicals. Although the method gives good results in the field of public and environmental health risk assessment, the approach has several flaws and unknowns, since disregarded real exposure scenarios could sometimes also lead to wrong assumptions. Using the risk assessment approach in the case of phosphate additives we will present weather added phosphorus in food and drinking water, presenting some concerns for human health. In recent years in developed countries, according to recent studies, intake of phosphorus and consequently phosphorus serum levels are increasing. Besides naturally present phosphates in food, predominantly pre-processed food and also processed (chemically softened) drinking water is a source of additional phosphate intake. The main reason for drinking water chemical softening is primarily prevention of the equipment; the health effect of such treatment is underestimated and neglected. Although phosphorus is an essential element, according to latest researches blood vessel calcification and hormonal de-regulation as health effect of high phosphorus concentration are reported. Any kind of increased intake of phosphorus is therefore not needed and in fact it could actually present an additional health threat. Therefore it is necessary that a holistic approach of risk assessment is used in the context of realistic exposure scenarios of simultaneous exposure to cocktail of various pollutants, their degradation products, and inclusion of potential causal links and indirect impacts of evaluated chemicals on health. According to the presented facts health risk in the case of sodium polyphosphate as drinking water softeners is insufficiently investigated and consequently, the risk might be underestimated.

Keywords:risk assessment, polyphosphates, water softening
Typology:1.02 - Review Article
Organization:ZF - Faculty of Health Sciences
Number of pages:Str. 4-13
Numbering:Vol. 9, no. 1
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-112987 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:1854-0678
COBISS.SI-ID:5037931 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:27.11.2019
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Title:Sanitarno inženirstvo
Publisher:Inštitut za sanitarno inženirstvo, Zbornica sanitarnih inženirjev Slovenije
COBISS.SI-ID:216969216 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.
Licensing start date:27.11.2019

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