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Health risks from heavy metals: Many wild mushrooms contaminated with mercury
In October, many Germans are out on meadows and in forests to collect tasty mushrooms. However, studies have shown that wild mushrooms are more heavily contaminated with heavy metals than other foods. Increased mercury levels are a particular problem.
Wild mushrooms contaminated with heavy metals
During the peak season for mushrooms - in September and October - there is a constant warning of possible poisoning risks from mushrooms you have collected yourself. But not only confusion with poisonous varieties can become a problem, but also the contamination of actually edible specimens. According to studies, wild mushrooms are more heavily contaminated with heavy metals than other foods.
Mercury in particular is filtered out of the ground
"Wild mushrooms such as porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, morels or mushrooms naturally naturally filter heavy metals, especially mercury, out of the soil on which they grow," the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) wrote in a current announcement. "The exposure to heavy metals is therefore high for them compared to other foods."
Consistently increased concentrations
According to the experts, tests found in 164 wild mushroom samples consistently increased mercury concentrations. In two thirds of the cases, the amount was even above the legal maximum. Since the mercury is concentrated in dried mushrooms through the drying process, they were more contaminated than fresh mushrooms and preserves. The highest mercury results were found for porcini mushrooms. The results of offices in the federal states in 2013 confirmed an earlier investigation, according to the BVL.
Health experts say mercury poisoning leads to kidney and liver damage, among other things. In addition, the toxic heavy metal is suspected of increasing the risks of heart attack, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
The communication goes on to say that the Chernobyl reactor accident in 1986 also means that radioactive pollution is possible. Fungi that grow in southern Germany can, depending on the region and soil type, still be radioactive.
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) advises consumers against the background of the increased heavy metal contents and the possible radioactive pollution, “with regular consumption per week not to eat more than 200 to 250 grams of wild mushrooms. Children should eat less according to their body weight. ”But it was safe to occasionally eat larger amounts of mushrooms. (ad)