Food safety is a major concern worldwide and human beings are frequently exposed to potentially toxic metals (PTMs) through consumption of vegetables, fruits, and cereal crops grown in contaminated areas. The present study investigates the concentrations of PTMs such as chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) in the foodstuffs (fruits, vegetables, and cereals) collected from different markets of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Samples of fruits (banana, tangerine, apple, and guava), vegetables (tomato, onion, potato, pea, and lady finger), and cereals (rice, kidney beans, and chick peas) were acid-extracted and analyzed using ICP-MS. The concentrations of Cr, Zn, Pb, As, and Cd in fruits (54, 50, 50, 45, and 4% samples, respectively), vegetables (53, 43, 63, 80, and 46%), and cereals (37, 62, 25, 70, and 25%) exceeded their respective permissible limits set by FAO/WHO (2001). The results showed that the highest mean concentration was observed for Ni (14.95 mg/kg), Pb (0.57 mg/kg), and Cd (0.27 mg/kg) in vegetables followed by fruits and cereals. However, the highest mean concentration of As (0.44 mg/kg) was observed in cereal crops followed by vegetables and fruits. The individual health risk of PTMs via consumption of fruits, vegetables, and cereals were found within safe limits for adults and children. Nevertheless, the total HRI values (fruits + vegetables + cereals) for Ni, As, and Cd for both adults and children were observed > 1 and may posed potential risk for the community consuming these foodstuffs on a daily basis.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 8, 2017
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