Vegetable consumption may represent a pathway of metal toxicity for humans. In this study, the presence of ecotoxic elements in vegetables from Arequipa, Peru and its toxicity risks was investigated. Samples of peppermint (Mentha sativa), coriander (Mentha spicata L.), garlic (Allium sativum), and leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. Porrum) were collected monthly from October 2018 through February 2019 and analyzed for As, Cd, Cr, Hg, and Pb concentrations by ICP-MS. In relation to international regulations, Cr in coriander (0.144 mg kg−1) exceeded Brazilian regulations of 0.1 mg kg−1 and Pb in peppermint (0.189 mg kg−1) exceeded Australian regulations of 0.1 mg kg−1. The Hazard Quotient and Hazard Index did not reveal potential risk to human health. However, the carcinogenic risk of As in leek, peppermint, and coriander was high for adults and children. These results suggest these vegetables in Arequipa, are safe for human consumption with potential risks associated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by Universidad Nacional de San Agustin de Arequipa, grant number IBA 0034-2016-UNSA.
- Heavy metals
- Maximum permissible limits
- Risk assessment