Assessing Heavy Metals in Pet Food with ICP-MS: An Update
July 08, 2020
In 2009, a group of researchers conducted a study, using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), to determine if heavy metal contaminants were present in a variety of pet foods . Results were compared to 2009 EPA Reference Dose (RfD) and World Health Organization (WHO) Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) levels, scaled to the sizes of pets. In the intervening decade, the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) was enacted, and pet food became one of the targets of scrutiny. The team conducted a follow-up study in 2019, revisiting the pet food brands first analyzed in 2009 as well as new brands that have emerged since, to see if anything changed significantly in the intervening decade. The new study used updated cryogenic and microwave technologies for sample preparation before ICP-MS analysis. We spoke to the study’s lead author, Patricia Atkins, a Senior Application Scientist at Spex CertiPrep, about this investigation.