Is there arsenic in pepper?

My coworker made a pronouncement that seems to be ludicrous beyond words. He claims that processed black pepper contains arsenic as a preservative. I have no idea where to look to get the facts - so, can anyone give me the scoop?


This site: lists the chemical analysis of several peppers. Arsenic shows up in all of them from 1 to 5 parts per million.

In all my searching, I have found nothing to indicate that this was added to the product, but is naturally occuring instead.

Looks pretty safe to me.

Minimum lethal dose is greater than 100mg. To get that much from eating pepper would take 20 million grams (20,000 Kg) of pepper.

If you have seen the “Truth” ads about tobacco, they point out that it contains arsenic as well. They don’t mention that it would take collecting all the arsenic in all the tobacco several people smoke in the lifetime to get enough in place to be dangerous.

Most organic products contain trace amounts of poisons. Nothing to get in a fuss over.

Arsenic compounds are used as insecticides and wood preservatives.
However, there’s very little Arsenic in peppercorns:

Calcium/Magnesium Sulphates or Carbonates	0.1% max.
Arsenic	1.0 mg/kg max. ***(That's 1 part per million, Max)***
Lead	5.0 mg/kg max
Copper	15.0 mg/kg max

-from Pepper India corporation.

Thanks for the info - it’s kinda what I suspected. Truly a little information can be a dangerous thing. I’ll try to set him straight.