Feed intake, for non-smokers, is the first route of contamination to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are potentially toxic compounds via ingestion. Investigations are focused on the presence of PAHs in fruits and vegetables. Transfer of PAHs can occur from air and soil during cultivation. They can also appear prior to consumption during storage, transport or cooking processes.Rather low amounts of PAHs are usually detected in raw fruits and vegetables. Quantities are between 0.01 and 0.5 μg kg-1 (wet weight) for compounds classified as priority pollutants by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, several studies point out that concentrations of some PAHs can exceed 0.5 μg kg-1 wet weight in diverse fruits and vegetables and even reach 5 μg kg-1. Amounts can be very different depending on the surrounding area of the crops, the aromatic hydrocarbon, or even the product itself. PAHs content is usually higher for products grown near roadways or in urban regions than in rural areas. Trace level of compounds such as phenanthrene, fluoranthene and pyrene have been found in quite every raw fruit and vegetable. Relative high amounts of lighter PAHs such as naphthalene, acenaphthylene, and acenaphthene have been found in some of them.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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