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Heavy Metals

Lead, cadmium and mercury - EU Legislation

Sampling/Method of Analysis

Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 (OJ L88, p29, 29/03/2007) of 28 March 2007 laying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, inorganic tin, 3-MCPD and benzo(a)pyrene in foodstuffs

National Legislation

  • Health (Arsenic & Lead in Food) Regulations, 1972  (S.I. No. 44 of 1972)
  • Health (Arsenic & Lead in Food) (Amendment) Regulations, 1992  (S.I. No. 72 of 1992)
  • European Communities (Certain Contaminants in Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010  ( S.I. No. 218 of 2010 )
  • European Communities (Sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of certain contaminants in foodstuffs) (No. 2) Regulations, 2006  (S.I. No. 412 of 2006)

Certain maximum limits are set for lead in specified foods in the national legislation. Some but not all of these limits, have been superseded by Regulation (EC) 1881/2006. Therefore it is necessary to consult both pieces of legislation. In addition to Lead, maximum limits for Mercury and Cadmium are given in  Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 . Foods, as specified, must not contain levels of Lead or Cadmium higher that the maximum levels specified.

Limits for Lead in Casein and Caseinates are set as are limits for Cadmium, Lead, Mercury and other metals in drinking water. See:



Last reviewed: 26/9/2011

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