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Microcystin-LR bioaccumulation and depuration kinetics in lettuce and arugula: Human health risk assessment

Cordeiro-Araújo, Micheline Kézia, Chia, Mathias Ahii, Arruda-Neto, João Dias de Toledo, Tornisielo, Valdemar Luiz, Vilca, Franz Zirena, Bittencourt-Oliveira, Maria do Carmo
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.566-567 pp. 1379-1386
World Health Organization, adults, aquatic ecosystems, arugula, bioaccumulation, crops, decontamination, food contamination, half life, human health, humans, irrigation, leaves, lettuce, microcystin-LR, models, risk assessment, tissues, toxicity, water pollution
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is one of the most toxic and common microcystins (MCs) variant found in aquatic ecosystems. Little is known about the possibility of recovering microcystins contaminated agricultural crops. The objectives of this study were to determine the bioaccumulation and depuration kinetics of MC-LR in leaf tissues of lettuce and arugula, and estimate the total daily intake (ToDI) of MC-LR via contaminated vegetables by humans. Arugula and lettuce were irrigated with contaminated water having 5 and 10μgL−1 of MC-LR for 7days (bioaccumulation), and subsequently, with uncontaminated water for 7days (depuration). Quantification of MC-LR was performed by LC-MS/MS. The one-compartment biokinetic model was employed for MC-LR bioaccumulation and depuration data analysis. MC-LR was only accumulated in lettuce. After 7days of irrigation with uncontaminated water, over 25% of accumulated MC-LR was still retained in leaf tissues of plants treated with 10μgL−1 MC-LR. Total daily toxin intake by adult consumers (60kg-bw) exceeded the 0.04μgMC-LRkg−1 limit recommended by WHO. Bioaccumulation was found to be linearly proportional to the exposure concentration of the toxin, increasing over time; and estimated to become saturated after 30days of uninterrupted exposure. On the other hand, MC-LR depuration was less efficient at higher exposure concentrations. This is because biokinetic half-life calculations gave 2.9 and 3.7days for 5 and 10μgL−1 MC-LR treatments, which means 29–37days are required to eliminate the toxin. For the first time, our results demonstrated the possibility of MC-LR decontamination of lettuce plants.