Apples and other fruits are frequently cultivated in gardens and are part of our daily diet. Uptake of pollutants into apples may therefore contribute to the human daily intake of toxic substances. In current risk assessment of polluted soils, regressions or models are in use, which were not intended to be used for tree fruits. A simple model for uptake of neutral organic contaminants into fruits is developed. It considers xylem and phloem transport to fruits through the stem. The mass balance is solved for the steady-state, and an example calculation is given. The Fruit Tree Model is compared to the empirical equation of Travis and Arms (T&A), and to results from fruits, collected in contaminated areas. For polar compounds, both T&A and the Fruit Tree Model predict bioconcentration factors fruit to soil (BCF, wet weight based) of > 1. No empirical data are available to support this prediction. For very lipophilic compounds (1ogK(ow) > 5), T&A overestimates the uptake. The conclusion from the Fruit Tree Model is that the transfer of lipophilic compounds into fruits is not relevant. This was also found by an empirical study with PCDD/F. According to the Fruit Tree Model, polar chemicals are transferred efficiently into fruits, but empirical data to verify these predictions are lacking.
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