Elemental composition of vegetables cultivated over coal-mining waste

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Abstract

We assessed elemental composition of the liver in mice subjected to one-time or chronic consumption of the juice of vegetables cultivated in a vegetable garden built over deposits of coal waste. Lactuca sativa L. (lettuce), Beta vulgaris L. (beet), Brassica oleracea L. var. italica (broccoli) and Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala (kale) were collected from the coal-mining area and from a certified organic farm (control). Elemental composition was analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) method. Concentrations of Mg, S, and Ca of mice subjected to one-time consumption of broccoli and concentrations of these same elements plus Si of mice receiving kale were higher in the coal-mining area. Concentrations of P, K, and Cu were increase after chronic consumption of lettuce from the coal-mining area, whereas the levels of Si, P, K, Fe, and Zn were higher in the group consuming kale from the coal-mining area. Our data suggests that people consuming vegetables grown over coal wastes may ingest significant amounts of chemical elements that pose a risk to health, since these plants contain both essential and toxic metals in a wide range of concentrations, which can do more harm than good.

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Zocche, J. J., Rohr, P., Damiani, A. P., Leffa, D. D., Martins, M. C., Zocche, C. M., … De Andrade, V. M. (2017). Elemental composition of vegetables cultivated over coal-mining waste. Anais Da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 89(3), 2383–2398. https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201720170234

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