Volume 41, Issue 3 (May 1996)

    Toxic Metals in Selected Traditional Chinese Medicinals

    (Received 5 June 1995; accepted 16 October 1995)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    An examination of traditional Chinese medicine preparations that purport to contain endangered-species products revealed the presence of inorganic forms of mercury and arsenic. We analyzed 12 types of commercially produced herbal ball preparations (n = 85) using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Mercury levels ranged from 7.8 to 621.3 milligrams and arsenic levels ranged from 0.1 to 36.6 milligrams per ball. The recommended adult dose for these preparations is two balls daily. At this dose the maximum elemental intake per day is up to 73.2 milligrams of arsenic and 1.2 grams of mercury. While arsenic poisoning is usually associated with foul play, and mercury poisoning is usually associated with environmental contamination, forensic scientists should be aware that these elements may be consumed in connection with cultural and lifestyle preferences.


    Author Information:

    Bleasdell, B
    Professor, and Senior Students, Southern Oregon State Collage, Ashland,

    Espinoza, EO
    Forensic Science Branch Chief and Criminalistics Section Chief, National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory, Ashland, OR

    Mann, MJ
    Forensic Science Branch Chief and Criminalistics Section Chief, National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory, Ashland, OR

    Cox, M
    Professor, and Senior Students, Southern Oregon State Collage, Ashland,

    DeKorte, S
    Professor, and Senior Students, Southern Oregon State Collage, Ashland,


    Stock #: JFS13934J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13934J

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    Author
    Title Toxic Metals in Selected Traditional Chinese Medicinals
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30