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P. 10-11 /


EFSA assesses possible health risk for children from nitrate in leafy vegetables
EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants (CONTAM) has published a statement on the possible acute health effects of nitrate in infants and young children consuming spinach and lettuce. The Panel concludes that levels of nitrate in these vegetables are not of health concern for most children. It notes however, that infants and young children aged 1-3 years who consume high amounts of spinach with high nitrate levels could at times reach an intake level for which a risk of methaemoglobinaemia (1) - a condition that reduces oxygen supply to the body - cannot be excluded. The Panel also provides advice to the European Commission on maximum levels of nitrate in leafy vegetables.
This statement complements EFSA’s scientific opinion of 2008 in which the CONTAM Panel compared risks and benefits of exposure to nitrates in vegetables. Following this opinion, the European Commission asked EFSA to provide more information on potential acute health effects of nitrate in infants and children. Nitrate occurs naturally in vegetables and particularly high levels are found in leafy vegeta ...

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