Scientists presenting at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society have reportedly identified elevated levels of arsenic in some beers sold in Germany. According to Mehmet Coelhan, who conducted the study of 140 beers as part of a monitoring program, “the discovery could be of importance for breweries and other food processors elsewhere that use the same filtering technology implicated in the elevated arsenic levels in some German beers.”

The team concluded that arsenic was released into the beer from a filtering material called “kieselguhr, or diatomaceous earth, that’s used to remove yeast, hops and other particles and give the beer a crystal clear appearance.” According to Coelhan, “The resulting arsenic levels were only slightly elevated, and it is not likely that people would get sick from drinking beers made with this filtration method because of the arsenic. The arsenic is still at low levels—the risk of alcohol poisoning is a far more realistic concern, as stated in previous studies on the topic.” See American Chemical Society News Release, April 7, 2013.