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Acetaldehyde in alcohol -- no longer just the chemical that causes a hangover
Date:3/19/2009

tist of the Toronto group and head of the Public Health and Regulatory Policies section at CAMH. "This has led to a negligence of the overall risk."

For example, in Toronto, even though there are limits for air exposure of acetaldehyde set by the responsible Public Health agency, these limits have been surpassed in the past. Alone, the risks associated with surpassing limits of acetaldehyde from the air may not yet be alarming, but for heavy drinkers and smokers, it adds to the acetaldehyde levels already received from these sources. This overall risk then surpasses established safety limits.

"Their risk assessment of acetaldehyde present as a congener in alcoholic beverages touches the tip of the iceberg," according to a Commentary on the CAMH/CVUA study in the journal Addiction.

Based on their study the scientists of CAMH recommend:

  • That the classification of acetaldehyde with respect to cancer be re-examined, incorporating new evidence which points to an additional cancer risk to humans.
  • That a further risk assessment should take into consideration all sources of exposure from this substance.
  • That the risk for cancer stemming from acetaldehyde from alcoholic beverages is recognized, and necessary preventive steps are taken to reduce the acetaldehyde content in alcoholic beverages.
  • That the overall level of acetaldehyde exposure be minimized to the lowest level technically possible.


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Contact: Michael Torres
michael_torres@camh.net
416-595-6015
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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