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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2014 Oct;108:224-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.05.014. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Evaluation of toxicological risk of foodstuffs contaminated with heavy metals in Swat, Pakistan.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan; State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-environmental Sciences (RCEES), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085, China; Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Swat, Swat 19130, Pakistan.
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan.
3
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-environmental Sciences (RCEES), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085, China. Electronic address: yllu@rcees.ac.cn.
4
Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Tarnab, Peshawar, Pakistan.
5
Institute of Chemical Sciences, University of Swat, Swat 19130, Pakistan.

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the concentrations of heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in the available foodstuffs (crops, milk and water), their bioaccumulation in human body and potential human health risks in Swat valley, northern Pakistan. Heavy metal concentrations in foodstuffs and human blood (adults (18-above) and children (1-12 years)) were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometer. The results revealed high level of Mn in foodstuffs followed by Cr>Cu>Zn>Ni>Cd>Pb, which significantly increased the levels of heavy metals in the adult׳s blood as compared to that of children in the order of Cr>Zn>Mn>Ni>Pb>Cu>Cd. Principal component analysis showed that selected foodstuffs were the possible sources of metal contamination in human blood, while correlation analysis revealed that the concentrations of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in foodstuffs significantly correlated with that in human blood. Moreover, risk assessments for individual metals via foodstuffs were found within safe limits, except for Cd (HQ>1); Whereas, for aggregate multiple metals the risk was calculated as 3.97E+00 (HI>1), in which water and milk were perceived as the greater contributors (81 percent) to HI; while fruits, grains and vegetables contributed 5 percent each, and pulses 4 percent.

KEYWORDS:

Bioaccumulation; Foodstuffs; Health risks; Heavy metals; Ingestion; Pakistan

PMID:
25086826
DOI:
10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.05.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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