Arsenic levels in meat, eggs, and dairy are extremely low and there is no need to avoid them to lower your arsenic exposure.
Should you be concerned about arsenic in meat and animal products?
No. Meat, eggs, and dairy have very little arsenic.
Make sure you:
- Eat a varied diet for balanced nutrition.
- Don’t completely stop eating a food if it still provides nutritional benefits.
- Review this site to better understand your total arsenic exposure.
- Follow the What You Can Do action steps to reduce your total arsenic exposure.
Lowering your arsenic exposure now could improve your long-term health.
Was arsenic ever used in meat and animal products?
Yes. Farmers once gave their chickens, turkeys and pigs drugs that contained arsenic to encourage growth and treat disease. In the late 2000’s, some farmers stopped using these drugs after meat was found to have arsenic in it. As of 2016, it is no longer legal to use these drugs in the United States. Since arsenic occurs naturally in soil and water, low levels of arsenic could occur in some meat or animal products like dairy or eggs.
“In the U.S., livestock are no longer treated with arsenic-based animal drugs. Meat and animal products such as dairy and eggs contain little to no arsenic, so there is no reason to limit or avoid these foods to reduce arsenic exposure.”Dr. Keeve Nachman, Johns Hopkins University