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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2005 Apr;48(3):338-43. Epub 2005 Jan 4.

Heavy metals (Cr, Zn, Ni, V, Pb, Cd) in lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and assessment of human exposure in two industrial areas in the Kemi-Tornio region, Northern Finland.

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The Town Planning and Building Committee, The Environmental Research Division, City of Kemi, City Hall, Valtakatu 26, FIN-94100, Kemi, Finland.


The concentration of Cr, Zn, Ni, V, Pb, and Cd were measured in lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) sampled at 23 sampling sites around a ferrochrome and stainless steel works and opencast chromium mine in the Kemi-Tornio region, Northern Finland. Two different microwave-assisted digestion procedures were used for sample digestion, i.e., a mixture of HNO3 + H2O2 and a mixture of HNO3 + H2O2 + HCl + HF + H3BO3. According to the results, the digestion procedure with the mixture of HNO3 + H2O2 underestimated especially the Cr concentrations in plant material. The maximum concentrations of Cr (1.3 mg kg(-1), wet weight), Ni (358 microg kg(-1); ww), V (36 microg kg(-1); ww), and Cd (2.4 microg kg(-1); ww) in the immediate vicinity of the point sources were 33, 6, 4, and 8 times higher than the background levels, respectively. The dietary intakes of Cd and Pb were assessed and compared to the health criteria recommendations set by the joint Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The results showed that, depending on the consumption of lingonberries, human exposure based on the mean concentrations for Pb and Cd varied between 0.04% and 0.07% for Pb and between 0.04% and 0.09% for Cd compared to the tolerable total quantities of 25 microg kg(-1) for Pb and 7 microg kg(-1) for Cd per body weight per week set by JECFA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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