Pesticide residues, heavy metal contents and aflatoxins were estimated in five medicinal plants frequently used by both infants and adults (peppermint, chamomile, anise, caraway and tilio). Samples were collected from different sources in the Egyptian market. Results showed that malathion, dimethoate and profenofos predominated in most of the analysed samples. On the other hand, the lowest mean levels were detected with aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane and lindane. Chlorpyrifos, parathion, diazinon and endosulfan were not detectable in most of the samples under investigation. The results indicated that some of the collected samples contained some types of organophosphorus and organochlorine pesticide residues, within the limits of The Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (EOS) maximum limits for pesticide residues on medicinal aromatic plants (1991) and Pharmeuropa (1993). Heavy metal contents in the collected samples, i.e. Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Co, Sn and Ni, were found at different levels. The highest mean levels of Pb, Zn, Cu, and Fe were found in chamomile flower samples, while those of Cd, Cr and Mn, were detected in peppermint and of Ni, Co and Sn in caraway samples. The results also showed that the most frequently isolated fungi were penicillium sp., A. niger and Fusarium sp. Nevertheless, the finding of natural mycotoxin contamination was negative in all samples.
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