D. Pipoyan, S. Stepanyan, M. Beglaryan, S. Stepanyan, Sh. Asmaryan, A. Hovsepyan, N. Merendino; Chemosphere, 2020, 239, pp. 124809; DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124809
Honey is a highly nutritious natural product widely produced and consumed by people in Shirak and Syunik regions of Armenia. Unlike Shirak, Syunik is under the impact of mining industry. Since the environmental pollution can adversely impact the safety of honey and entail a probable risk to human health, it is important to evaluate the presence of potentially toxic trace elements in honey samples from both regions and draw comparisons. This study assesses the dietary exposure to trace elements and persistent organic pollutants through the intake of honey for the first time among people in Shirak and Syunik regions. 24-hour dietary recall method was used to investigate the consumption of honey. The presence of seven trace elements (Pb, Cd, As, Hg, Cu, Zn, and Ni) and persistent organic pollutants (hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites) were determined in honey samples using atomic absorption spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. In several samples, the concentrations of Cu were above the maximum allowable level. Non-carcinogenic risk values did not exceed the acceptable level, while carcinogenic risk values for Ni and As exceeded the risk level of 10-6 in both regions. Moreover, among the persistent organic pollutants, only the concentration of DDT in honey from Shirak was above the European Union maximum residue level.
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