Heavy Metals in Ireland

There are many sources of Heavy Metal exposure in Ireland.

In the modern world, we are exposed to metals in many areas, in some foods, water, or cooking utensils, or in pollutants, or dental fillings, water from old lead pipes and also even more modern PVC water pipes, some vaccines, aerosols, tattoo inks, etc

FSAI-Metals of Toxicological Importance in Irish diet.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Report

Metals of Toxicological Importance in Irish diet.

2016 report outlining the many exposures to toxic metals through foodstuffs and water supplies.

Click to open in a new window >>

HSE - Lead in Drinking Water

HSE website (as of Oct 2018)



  • The legal limit of lead in drinking water in Europe has been gradually reduced, from 50µg per litre in 1988 to 10µg per litre in December 2013.

  • This was done as part of a greater plan to reduce everybody’s lifetime exposure to lead to the lowest possible level.

  • However, some drinking water may not yet meet this new limit.

Irish Health - Lowdown on Lead
Irish Health - Lowdown on Lead.png

"It has been know since ancient times that exposure to Pb can have serious consequences for health. It has been described as the most important toxic hazard in the development of civilisation."

Click to read full article

FSAI - Cadmium and Lead in supplements
FSAI-Investigation into Lead and Cadmium

"Panel was unable to establish a new guidance level, as they considered that there was no clear threshold below
which they were confident that adverse effects would not occur."

Click to read full report

Below we just focus on two of the most damaging metals for health.  Lead and Cadmium.

Map - Lead in soil in Ireland.png

source: Fay et al - Teageasc

Map-Cadmium in soil in Ireland.png

source: Fay et al - Teageasc