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Iran J Pharm Res. 2010 Spring;9(2):129-32.

Heavy metals contamination of table salt consumed in iran.

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Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology and Chemical Injuries Research Center, University of Baqiyatallah Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic are the most important heavy metals which may cause health risks following consumption of contaminated foods. Table salt is one the mostly used food additive with unique place in food consumption. Although purified table salt is expected to have lower level of contamination, some Iranians still prefer to use rock salt. Use of rock salt for food purposes has been banned by Iranian health authorities. In this study, heavy metal contamination of table salt consumed in Iran has been investigated. One hundred samples of rock and refined table salts were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometeric methods for the presence of toxic heavy metals. The mean concentration of tested tracer metals including Cd, Pb, Hg and As was 0.024, 0.438, 0.021 and 0.094 μg/g, respectively. The concentrations of tested heavy metals were well below the maximum levels set by Codex. However, no statistically significant difference was found between contamination of rock salt and refined salt to heavy metals.


Heavy metal contamination; Iran; Rock salt; Table salt


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