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Cadmium contamination of vegetable crops, farmlands, and irrigation waters.

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Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Spain.


Cadmium, a highly toxic element that can accumulate in living tissues, is a potential threat to the environment and to human health. The main sources of Cd contamination of vegetable crops via farm soils and irrigation waters are reviewed, as are the influence of residual sludges used as fertilizers and the indiscriminate use of pesticides. The principal sources of exposure and toxicological characteristics of Cd are described, together with its effects on human health. Current European technical and health regulations aimed at controlling Cd levels are noted, and the most common analytical techniques for measuring Cd content are summarized.

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