Honey may have potential benefits due to its nutrient and bioactive molecules. On the other hand, it is a food that could be affected by environmental pollution; therefore, honey may contain contaminants such as heavy metals. The present study aimed to quantify eleven heavy metals and essential elements (Hg, Cd, V, Cr, Ni, Cu, As, Sb, Pb, Ba, Mn) in honey collected in the Campania region (Italy) and analyzed through Q-ICP-MS. Secondly, carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks due to ingestion of honey in toddlers, adolescents, and adults were estimated based on the Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) and Lifetime Cancer Risk (LTCR). No statistically significant difference emerged among the different areas. The risk assessment did not report concerns for non-carcinogenic risk. However, the three groups showed a potential carcinogenic risk for Ni, Cr, and As, even though toddlers reported higher exposure values. The finding of this study provides pieces of knowledge on levels of contaminants in honey in Campania. Furthermore, it can aid in understanding the resulting risk due to honey ingestion.
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