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Heavy Metals in Native Potato and Health Risk Assessment in Highland Andean Zones of Junín, Peru

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Heavy metals are transferred from the abiotic environment to living organisms, accumulate in food, contaminate the food chain, and are an important route of human exposure involving a potential health risk. In this study, the concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Fe, Pb, Zn and As) in agricultural soils and tubers of Solanum tuberosum spp. andigena (native potato) were evaluated. Also, an assessment of the health risk associated with the daily intake by the local population was performed in the four districts of the department of Junín, between altitudes of 3800 m to 4200 m. The heavy metals concentrations in soils with native potato cultivation followed the following decreasing order of Fe > Zn > Pb > As > Cd, with values below national standards. The heavy metals content in native potatoes was below the limits recommended by international standards with the exception of Pb. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) for the two native potato varieties in decreasing order was Zn > Cd > Pb > As > Fe, all less than 0.5. The estimated daily intake of metals (EDIM) in adults and children through the consumption of native potatoes was higher for Fe and Zn. The threshold carcinogenic risk values (TCR) for As exceeded the safety limits 1 × 10-4. It is concluded that the residents in the four high Andean localities would be exposed to carcinogenic adverse health effects associated with the intake of native potatoes. It is important to monitor the concentration of As and other heavy metals in the Andean soils and crops in order to implement a soil and crop management program to ensure food quality.

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