Written through SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD ~ above November 2, 2020 — median reviewed through Amy Richter, RD, Nutrition

Arsenic is an aspect found in most foods. It can be harmful and also lead to cancer if you’re exposed to high level of it, i m sorry is why the U.S. Eco-friendly Protection firm (EPA) strictly regulates the arsenic content of drinking water.

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Unfortunately, some species of wine may contain unsafe level of this element. This is partially because of the usage of arsenic-containing pesticides in the past, as well as natural absent erosion.

This short article reviews the arsenic contents of wine, which species of wines have the highest levels, even if it is you must be concerned, and what to execute if you doubt you have arsenic poisoning.

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What is it?
Arsenic is a naturally emerging element that’s present in trace amounts in practically all foods. In most cases, these quantities aren’t high sufficient to be harmful.

However, in high doses and also over time, the element is toxic and also can substantially increase your risk of emerging lung, skin, and other species of cancer. Solitary episodes that high dose exposure can likewise cause short-term, or acute, poisoning (1, 2).

As such, the EPA strict regulates the arsenic contents of drinking water, limiting it to no an ext than 10 parts per exchange rate (ppb) (3).

In the past, farms in the unified States and elsewhere depended upon arsenic-based pesticides and also herbicides. Although these assets have been banned in the joined States since the 1980s, they still cause problems this particular day (1).

First, food get an impression in fields where these pesticides were once provided are higher in arsenic than foods grown elsewhere.

Second, these pesticides have likely leached right into the groundwater in numerous areas, increasing the arsenic contents of the water supply (1).

Third, the organic and constant erosion of rock can additional increase the arsenic content of the water supply and also soil, as well as the food grown in the (4).


Arsenic is a naturally arising substance that deserve to be harmful and also cause cancer in huge doses. As result of natural erosion and the previous usage of arsenic-containing pesticides, particular foods and also water sources may contain unsafe level of the element.

Wine consists of arsenic. Although most wines contain low, unauthorized levels, part wines save levels that exceed the EPA’s drinking water guidelines of no more than 10 ppb.

For example, one research tested 65 red wines indigenous 4 U.S. States and found that all of them exceeded the EPA guidelines for drinking water — through an mean arsenic level that 23 ppb (5).

Another study tested a broader sample the wines from California and also found the 28 varieties that the media figured out as containing high levels of arsenic had an mean of 25.6 ppb, while 73 randomly selected grocery keep wines contained an median of 7.4 ppb (6).

Interestingly, this study also identified a relationship in between price and arsenic content — the least expensive wines consisted of the greatest levels that the facet (6).

Types and also locations v the highest quantities

This table highlights the mean arsenic level of various types of California-made wines, according to one examine of 101 wine samples (6):

Type that wineAverage arsenic concentration
Rosé27.2 ppb
White10.9 ppb
Red6.8 ppb

As you deserve to see, rosé wines consisted of the highest possible levels, followed by white wines and then red wines. According to the EPA’s drink water standards, just red wines included safe levels, on median (6).

That said, research studies of wine created in Spain found that white wines were highest in arsenic, while researches of wines developed in Italy uncovered that red wines contained the highest levels (7).

This mirrors that the arsenic content of different types of wine varies and may be affected by the wine’s area of beginning (7).

This was similarly demonstrated by a research of 65 wine samples across 4 U.S. Says (5):

State that originAverage arsenic concentration
Washington27.4 ppb
Oregon12.6 ppb
California23.5 ppb
New York18.3 ppb

Ultimately, the varying levels identified in between the type and beginning of wines indicate that more widespread testing is needed.


Wine’s arsenic levels rely on its type and origin. One study noted the greatest levels in wines native Washington, while those v the lowest levels to be from new York. Amongst California-made wines, red types had the shortest levels.

Wine alone is very unlikely to reason arsenic poisoning uneven you drink 1–2 glasses that the same high arsenic wine everyday for lengthy periods, or if you regularly drink these wines alongside other lifestyle practices that disclose you come high amounts of the aspect (5).

What’s more, the EPA’s requirements for drink water may not it is in relevant once it concerns wine. Friend drink much an ext water end your lifetime than wine, make it much more important the the arsenic contents of water is tightly regulated.

Choose the the safest wine

Here are some guidelines for purchasing the the safest wine:

While you might think that organic wine would be a much safer option, this isn’t necessarily the case. That’s due to the fact that naturally arising arsenic have the right to leach right into the soil and also groundwater from absent erosion (4).

Additionally, the soil of an necessary vineyard might still save on computer traces of arsenic-based pesticides if they to be once used in the very same location, and also this can influence the necessary wine developed there now (1).

Other danger factors

You should consider the complete arsenic pack of your diet. Sometimes or even consistent wine usage may just pose a danger to your wellness if you’re also regularly eating high arsenic foods, such as (8):

apple cider and apple juicemilkchicken and beef brothcereal barsriceseafood, consisting of amberjack fish, octopus, salmon, and also tuna

Tobacco products are likewise high in arsenic. Thus, cigarette smoking or using other tobacco products may boost your exposure to the aspect beyond safe levels (9).


To minimize arsenic exposure, opt because that mid- or higher-priced wines from Oregon, brand-new York, or California. Additionally, reduce your intake of high arsenic foods and use that tobacco products.

If you doubt you or someone you’re caring because that is experiencing arsenic poisoning, here are few of the short-lived signs and also symptoms to look the end for (10):

diarrhea, which may be bloodylow blood pressuredehydrationcough or chest pain

Long-term exposure to the aspect may likewise cause your skin to come to be darker, a persistent sore throat, confusion, lose of muscle control, and/or persistent digestive problems. The may also increase your risk of leukemia and lung and also skin cancer (10).


Arsenic poisoning can impact your skin, digestion, muscles, and heart rhythm. Chronic exposure come the substance can darken your skin, cause a persistent sore throat, and/or bring about digestive issues.

If you think you’ve ingested too much arsenic, look for medical treatment immediately.

Your health care provider deserve to order tests to assess your blood levels, and also skin, hair, and also nail tests the assess your permanent exposure (11).

Receiving huge quantities that arsenic-free water intravenously may help flush excess arsenic from your mechanism in the situation of short-lived poisoning — although girlfriend may likewise need electrolyte additional (10, 11).

Complications brought about by arsenic poisoning or long-term exposure may require much more in-depth clinical treatment.


Seek medical treatment if she concerned about poisoning. Drinking water may help flush overabundance arsenic from your system.

Arsenic is a naturally developing element that’s found in tiny amounts in virtually all foods. Unfortunately, pesticide use and rock erosion have introduced larger quantities of the aspect into the food and water supply.

While the arsenic levels of some wines exceed the EPA’s drinking water standards, most wines appear to be safe. Additionally, that worth maintaining in mind the drinking water standards are strict, together you drink significantly much more water than wine over her lifetime.

As such, even if you’re a regular wine drinker, you’re likely not at threat of poisoning unless you’re likewise regularly exposed come high level of the aspect through high arsenic foods items or tobacco products.

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If you suspect that you have actually arsenic poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.