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The total margin of exposure of ethanol and acetaldehyde for heavy drinkers consuming cider or vodka

Lachenmeier, Dirk W.; Gill, Jan S.; Chick, Jonathan; Rehm, J�rgen


Dirk W. Lachenmeier

Jan S. Gill

Jonathan Chick

J�rgen Rehm


Heavy drinkers in Scotland may consume 1600 g ethanol per week. Due to its low price, cider may be
preferred over other beverages. Anecdotal evidence has linked cider to specific health hazards beyond
other alcoholic beverages. To examine this hypothesis, nine apple and pear cider samples were chemically
analysed for constituents and contaminants. None of the products exceeded regulatory or toxicological
thresholds, but the regular occurrence of acetaldehyde in cider was detected. To provide a
quantitative risk assessment, two collectives of exclusive drinkers of cider and vodka were compared and
the intake of acetaldehyde was estimated using probabilistic MonteeCarlo type analysis. The cider
consumers were found to ingest more than 200-times the amount of acetaldehyde consumed by vodka
consumers. The margins of exposure (MOE) of acetaldehyde were 224 for the cider and over 220,000 for
vodka consumers. However, if the effects of ethanol were considered in a cumulative assessment of the
combined MOE, the effect of acetaldehyde was minor and the combined MOE for both groups was 0.3.
We suggest that alcohol policy priority should be given on reducing ethanol intake by measures such as
minimum pricing, rather than to focus on acetaldehyde.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 11, 2015
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2015
Publication Date 2015-09
Deposit Date Jul 14, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 26, 2016
Journal Food and Chemical Toxicology
Print ISSN 0278-6915
Electronic ISSN 1873-6351
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 83
Pages 210-214
Keywords Alcohol; Cider; Vodka; heavy drinking; Acetaldehyde; risk assessment;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 14, 2015


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