The primary purpose of the focal action was to collect data on the extent to which algae are contaminated with the heavy metals lead, cadmium and mercury, as well as arsenic and iodine. The samples were therefore taken as monitoring samples that did not result in any immediate action. 29 samples from all over Austria were examined:
- five samples had an iodine content that was too high
- in five samples, the labeling was inadequate; among other things, warnings were missing with regard to the iodine content or with regard to the recommended amounts to be consumed.
An upper limit of 600 μg/day for adults and 200 μg/day for children aged one to three years is set for iodine intake. Ingestion of iodine-rich seaweed products, especially dried products, may result in iodine being absorbed in dangerous excess.