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Assessment of some heavy metals in vegetables, cereals and fruits in Saudi Arabian markets

Authors
Journal
The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research
1687-4285
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
38
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejar.2012.08.002
Keywords
  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Heavy Metals
  • Vegetables
  • Graphite Furnace
  • Saudi Arabia
Disciplines
  • Communication

Abstract

Abstract The concentration of some heavy metals Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and Hg in various vegetables (roots, stems, leafy, fruits, cereals and legumes) grown in four major industrial and urban cities (Tabouk, Riyadh, Damamm and Jazan) in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was assessed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The obtained results declared that concentrations of major studied metals were exceeding than the recommended maximum acceptable levels proposed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Leafy vegetables were found to contain the highest metals values especially parsley (543.2 and 0.048μg/g for Fe and Hg respectively), Jews mallow (94.12 and 33.22μg/g for Mn and Zn respectively), spinach (4.13μg/g for Cd). While peas in legumes group maintained the highest Zn content 71.77μg/g and finally cucumber had the highest Pb content 6.98μg/g on dry matter basis. High concentrations of heavy metals in different parts of the vegetables might be related to their concentration in the polluted air with industrial activities especially in middle and eastern districts. The study concludes that atmospheric depositions and marketing systems of vegetables play a significant role in elevating the levels of heavy metals in vegetables having potential health hazards to consumers of locally produced foodstuffs.

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