D. Pipoyan, M. Beglaryan, L. Costantini, R. Molinari, N. Merendino; Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 2017, 24, Issue 2, pp. 317-330; DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2017.1381019
Consumption of unsafe food is one of the most important public health concerns. Trace elements’ contamination caused by direct or indirect activities of mining industries is of importance in this respect. The present study was conducted to assess the chronic dietary exposure and related health risks of trace elements through the intake of selected vegetables and fruits grown under the impact of mining industry in Syunik region (Armenia). Consumption data were obtained via food frequency questionnaire and the concentrations of Cu, Mo, Ni, Cr, Pb, Zn, Hg, and Cd in different fruits and vegetables were determined. Moreover, by combining concentration data with consumption data, estimated daily intake, and target hazard quotient were assessed for each element. The results obtained showed that mean concentrations for Pb and Hg in some vegetables exceeded maximum acceptable levels set by international organizations. Hazard indexes >1 have been obtained in some cases indicating that for some vegetables (particularly for potato, carrot, maize, onion leaf, grape, bean, beet, sweet pepper, eggplant, and tomato) habitual consumption has a potential to pose adverse health effect to the local population.
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