A tolerable limit for tin concentration in canned food of 250 ppm (Fritsch et al., 1977) is generally accepted. However, biochemical effects attributable to tin have been observed even after oral administration of 1 and 3 mg Sn/kg body wt (Yamaguchi et al., 1980). These doses reflect 10 and 30 ppm tin in the diet. The experiments of de Groot (1973) showed that hemoglobin concentrations in the blood of rats decreased significantly feeding a diet containing 150 ppm tin. The absorption of iron was diminished after simultaneous administration of 0.8 mumol Sn(II) and iron, reflecting a tin dose of 95 ppm tin, by injection into jejunal loops of rats (Schäfer and Forth, 1983). In general, however, canned food usually plays a secondary role in daily nutrition. Fortunately, concentrations of about 2000 ppm tin as reported by Warburton et al. (1962) and Barker and Runte (1972) are not found in canned food, but values between 50 and 500 ppm are not unusual (Piscator, 1979). If a large amount of canned food is eaten daily over a long period, disturbances of gastric acid secretion and a reduction in iron absorption or heme metabolism cannot be excluded. The storage of food, especially acid foods, in opened cans should be avoided as this practice increases the amount of tin in the food when it is consumed.
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