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Assessing Risk of Heavy Metals Input in Food Chain. 1. Introduction Among the many elements that occur in the natural environment about 60% of them are.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing Risk of Heavy Metals Input in Food Chain. 1. Introduction Among the many elements that occur in the natural environment about 60% of them are."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing Risk of Heavy Metals Input in Food Chain. 1. Introduction Among the many elements that occur in the natural environment about 60% of them are referred to as heavy metals which some of them are essentials to organisms while others have toxic effects even at relatively low concentrations. Hence, heavy metal pollution of agro-ecosystems and their potential transfer in human food chain is causing a major concern and for this reason, has already been approached from many scientists and research groups. However, the real problem at this admission remains the complexity of heavy metals estimation input. Heavy metals are main soil contaminants that can reach through mobilization surface water (lakes, rivers) and sometimes also the groundwater level. Thus, future investigation on transference of heavy metals to food chain must take into more careful consideration. In the frame of activities to give a new prospect on this issue, it was decided to focus at the concentrations of heavy metals in feedstuffs of livestock activities.. The concentration of heavy metals in the forages was in the higher percentage although under the allowed concentrations that are allowed by the EU legislation. Moreover, the data presented in this study reveals that transfer of heavy metal contaminants from feed to animal products fluctuated at prices below the permissible risk levels. C. Makridis, S.V. Leontopoulos and L. Roka Department of Animal Production, Technological Educational Institute of Larissa (T.E.I.), Larissa (41110),Greece 2. Materials and Methods Sample collection The study was conducted in commercial farms with various feeding systems situated in the region of Thessaly, Greece distinguished by their forage system. Samples from feedstuffs, supplements and feeding regiments at all farms was carried out at different periods of the year and different production phases of animal breeding to better evaluate the influence of different feeding patterns on the levels of heavy metals. A total of 440 samples were collected and analyzed. More specific, 140 samples derived from livestock breeding -systems with sheep, 180 from dairy cows and 120 from pigs. Sample analysis For practical reasons all samples under examination were dried, milled and then collected in special glass vases which were cleaned before use with double distilled water. These glass vases with the samples were stored at room temperature (20° C) before combustion. The dried material (1g) was analysed for zinc and copper with a Varian 10PLUS Atomic Absorption Spectrometer equipped with a SpectrAA 220FS according to experimental protocol AGCD Each experiment was carried out at least twice, and all analyses were performed in duplicate. The entire analytical procedure was tested for both measurement accuracy and precision in order to estimate the degree of reliability of the data. Statistical analysis was made with the SPSS 15 software for Microsoft Windows. Statistical analysis has been performed for sample size, mean values as well as minimum and maximum standard deviation using the SPSS program. Acknowledgements Financial support from the E.P.E.A.K. (Grant 105/4105-Archimidis II), is grateful acknowledged. Figure 1. Descriptive figure of Cu concentration in cows, sheep's and pigs feedstuffs. 3. Results Figure 2. Descriptive figure of Zn concentration in cows, sheeps and pigs feedstuffs. Feedstuffs Zn and Cu concentrations (mean values from 20 samples) for 7 different feedstuff and feedstuff mixtures for sheep, cows and pigs are presented in Figures 1 and 2. Data observed by this study showed that there were statistically significant differences between the groups according to the farms with the same breeding animals and also between the grains at feed mixtures which are destine for the same animals at the production phase. 4. Conclusions In this study the variation of Cu and Zn concentration at feeds and feedstuffs mixtures was observed. The significant high variation of Cu and Zn it was linked in some way not only concentration levels in the solid and liquid wastes (manure, urine etc) of the agricultural industrial activities that are free disposed in the environment as fertilizers, but also with the environmental pollution especially in rivers, lakes and soils


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