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J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014 Jan 7;12(1):10. doi: 10.1186/2052-336X-12-10.

Content of toxic and essential metals in recrystallized and washed table salt in Shiraz, Iran.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Research Center for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



Table salt is the most commonly used food additive. Since most of the salt consumed in Iran comes from mines, contamination with heavy metals is a health concern. The commonest salt purification method in Iran is washing with water. But recently, some industries have turned to recrystallization method. The present study aimed to determine the level of essential and non-essential heavy metals in the table salt refined with recrystallization and washing methods.


Thirty eight pre-packed salt samples were directly collected from retail market in Shiraz (22 samples refined with recrystallization method and 16 with washing method). The level of lead, cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel and cobalt was determined using Voltammetric method. Daily intakes of lead and cadmium as well as their weekly intakes were calculated.


The levels of lead, cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel and cobalt in recrystallized samples were 0. 30 ± 0.26, 0.02 ± 0.02, 0.11 ± 0.06, 0.34 ± 0.22, 0.15 ± 0.19 and 0.008 ± 0.007 μg/g, respectively, and also 0.37 ± 0.27, 0.017 ± 0.021, 0.19 ± 0.18, 0.37 ± 0.20, 0.13 ± 0.23 and 0.037 ± 0.06 μg/g in washed salt samples. The calculated weekly intake of lead and cadmium was 0.216 and 0.014 μg/kg, respectively for the recrystallized and 0.2653 and 0.0119 μg/kg for the washed salts.


All values for toxic metals were lower than the permitted maximum for human consumption as prescribed by Codex and Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran. Only 0.8652-1.0612% of lead and 0.17-0.2% of cadmium PTWIs are received via salt consumption weekly.

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