Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bad news for European oenophiles:
[I]t turns out wine doesn't solve every health problem from A to Z. Researchers in England have found that red and white wines from most European nations carry potentially dangerous levels of at least seven different heavy metals.
To put the danger in context, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a measure called THQ (Target Hazard Quotients) that establishes safe levels of frequent, long-term exposure to various chemicals. A THQ over 1 indicates a health risk, and in the recent news, seafood THQs between 1 and 5 have raised serious concerns.
The wines studied from Europe, the Middle East, and South America, have THQs ranging from 50 to 200 per glass, with some going as high as 300.
The top offenders were Hungary, Slovakia, France, Austria, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Greece. Safe wines came from Argentina, Brazil, and Italy. But don't lead the cry for "buy American" just yet: U.S. wines weren't studied because there's no source for data on heavy metals in U.S. wines.
You know, the French are well known for thinking that everything 'bout their food and drink is perfect. I don't think they'll cotton to hearing that their wines are "tainted," indeed.