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9 .   Study on heavy metal contamination of vegetables from the Moldova region

Authors: Amelia Buculei, Gabriela Constantinescu, Ioana Rebenciuc

Volume 22, Issue 1;
Pages: 39-42; 2016
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former ISSN: 1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online): 2068-9551



Abstract:

The aim of this study was to determine the accumulation level of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu) in the tissues of some vegetable species taken from industrially polluted areas. The presence of heavy metals in vegetable and fruit products, with all the economic implications, regarding especially the health ones, is currently dealt with by the specialists in the area and the control authorities. The polluting sources by heavy metals of food products are: the use of irrigation, residual polluted water, treatments by pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers; pollution of atmosphere (in industrial areas, non-ferrous metal processing areas, intense traffic areas (tetraethyl lead from gasoline released into the atmosphere), mining areas and non-ferrous metals processing areas as well as accidental sources (releases of chemical substances into air, water, soil). The vegetables were cropped from polluted and unpolluted areas in Romania. Vegetable species largely used in preparing ranges of cans, either industrially or homemade, have been analyzed: tomatoes and leafy vegetables (spinach, orach) in order to study the changes occurring in heavy metal content of these raw materials during the processing operations. The accumulation potential of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, copper, zinc) in species of leafy vegetables varies as follows: spinach > orach. It is obvious that the accumulation potential of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc) of vegetable species varies in their different anatomic parts as follows: leaves > petiole > stem > root > fruit. The increase of heavy metals level has the following effects: - decrease of nitrogen monoxide level, a compound known under the name of “endothelial relaxing factor” in the walls of coronial arteries, without this substance the blood normal circulation is braked, increasing the risk of vascular blockage; - reduction of hormones quantity produced by adrenal glands, leading to precocious ageing, the stress decreases sexual energy and aggravates the menopause symptoms; - lack of any reaction of diabetics’ to medication; - appearance of neurological diseases, such as depression and decrease of intellectual capacity; aggravation of osteoporosis and hypothyroidism.

Keywords: contamination, vegetables, metals, food

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