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Sci Total Environ. 1990 Jun;95:61-7.

Concentrations of lead and cadmium in edible vegetables from Tarragona Province, Spain.

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Laboratory of Toxicology and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Reus, Spain.


The lead and cadmium content of 20 species of edible vegetable collected in Tarragona Province (Spain) was investigated. Samples consisting of bulbs, and leaves and soft stalks (chard, parsley, spinach and lettuce) contained the highest levels of both metals. In contrast, fruits and similar garden produce (tomato, green pepper, cucumber, artichoke, green bean and broad bean) contained the lowest concentrations of lead and cadmium in both the northern and southern area of the province. Most species analyzed did not show any significant differences between the two study areas. The mean daily intakes of lead and cadmium by man have been estimated to be: 47.5 micrograms Pb and 15.3 micrograms Cd (north), and 37.5 micrograms Pb and 32.5 micrograms Cd (south). These values do not pose a health risk for consumers, according to the levels proposed by FAO/WHO.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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