Main content area

Accumulation of trace elements in cattle from rural and industrial areas in Belgium Part A Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Waegeneers, N., Pizzolon, J.C., Hoenig, M., Temmerman, L. de
Food additives & contaminants 2009 v.26 no.3 pp. 326-332
beef cattle, cattle production, animal husbandry, rural areas, industrial wastes, trace elements, nonferrous alloys, cadmium, lead, arsenic, zinc, copper, heavy metals, bioaccumulation, kidneys, liver, beef, provenance, pollution, environmental exposure, food contamination, Belgium
Trace element concentrations were determined in meat, kidney and liver tissue of cattle, which had resided more than 18 months in areas historically contaminated by emissions from the non-ferrous metal industry or in regions with normal background metal contamination levels in Belgium. Trace element levels were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Lead, arsenic and cadmium concentrations in meat were low for all cattle. Concentrations in kidneys were, respectively, 1.8-, 2.2- and 2.5-fold higher in cattle from the contaminated areas compared to animals from reference areas. The European maximum level for cadmium in kidney was exceeded by 75% of the kidneys from contaminated areas and 47% of the kidneys from reference areas. Lead, arsenic and cadmium concentrations in bovine livers from contaminated areas were increased by a factor of 2.3. Zinc levels in livers and kidneys were within normal ranges, but 20% higher in the contaminated areas compared to reference areas. Copper levels in livers were high in all areas. Dairy cattle accumulated significantly higher levels of cadmium in kidneys and of lead in liver and kidneys than did beef cattle.