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Does acrylamide pose a health risk to humans?
According to a recently concluded meeting of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (JECFA), acrylamide in food may be a human health concern.
However, both Health Canada and JECFA agree that it is currently not possible to determine the precise level of risk for human health. Because acrylamide is known to cause cancer in animals, further research on the effects of exposure to acrylamide is needed before the risks of acrylamide exposure from food can be fully understood.
Work continues in this area, and as the results of new studies become available, Health Canada will continue to evaluate the level of risk associated with dietary exposure to acrylamide.
Health Canada estimates that the typical Canadian adult is exposed, on average, to about 0.4 micrograms (millionths of a gram) of acrylamide per kilogram body weight each day (0.4 μg/kg b.w./day). This preliminary estimation of exposure is consistent with exposures that have been estimated in other countries.