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Zinc, copper, cadmium, and lead levels in cattle tissues in relation to different metal levels in ground water and soil

Skalny, Anatoly V., Salnikova, Elena V., Burtseva, Tatiana I., Skalnaya, Margarita G., Tinkov, Alexey A.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.1 pp. 559-569
Hereford, atomic absorption spectrometry, beef cattle, cadmium, copper, groundwater, heart, heavy metals, kidneys, lead, liver, models, muscles, regression analysis, soil, tissues, zinc
The objective of the present study was to investigate the interaction between environmental (water and soil) levels of zinc, copper, cadmium, and lead levels, as well as their content in Hereford beef cattle tissues in five districts (D₁—western area, D₂ and D₃—central area, D₄ and D₅—eastern area) of the Orenburg region. Soil metal levels were assessed using atomic emission spectrometry, whereas water and tissue (liver, kidney, muscle, heart) metal content was studied using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The obtained data demonstrate that the highest levels Zn in soil and water (p < 0.001), as well as cattle muscle, liver, and kidney (p < 0.05) were observed in D₄ and D₅ (eastern area), exceeding the maximum permissible concentration levels (MPCL) for drinking water and muscle for all regions. Similar associations were found for Cu levels. The highest soil and water Cd and Pb content were observed in D₂ (central area) and D₅ (eastern area), respectively. At the same time, cattle tissue Cd and Pb content did not correspond to the respective environmental levels. Correlation analysis demonstrated that water and soil Zn and Cu content directly correlated with muscle, liver, and kidney, but not heart metal content. At the same time, water Cd levels were negatively interrelated with muscle cadmium content but correlated directly with hepatic metal content. Both water and soil Pb levels positively correlated with renal metal levels in cattle. In turn, soil lead content was inversely associated with muscle metal levels. Regression analysis also demonstrated a significant association between environmental and tissue levels of Zn and Cu. The models adjusted for all studied elements demonstrated a significant effect of metal interaction on tissue metal levels. Hypothetically, excessive environmental Zn, and possibly Cu, levels may affect the uptake of heavy metals including Cd and Pb from the environment.