Date: 19 May 2009

Analysis of Several Heavy Metals in Wild Edible Mushrooms from Regions of China

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Abstract

The metal (Cu, Ni, Cd, Hg, As, Pb) contents in wild edible mushrooms collected from three different sites in China were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry and atomic fluorescence spectrometry. All element concentrations were determined on a dry weight basis. A total of 11 species was studied, five being from the urban area and six from rural areas in China. The As content ranged from 0.44 to 1.48 mg/kg. The highest As content was seen in Macrolepiota crustosa from the urban area, and the lowest in Russula virescens from rural areas. A high Ni concentration (1.35 mg/kg) was found in Calvatia craniiformis from the urban area. The lowest Ni level was 0.11 mg/kg, for the species R. virescens and Cantharellus cibarius. The Cu content ranged from 39.0 to 181.5 mg/kg. The highest Cu content was seen in Agaricus silvaticus and the lowest in C. cibarius. The Pb content ranged from 1.9 to 10.8 mg/kg. The highest Pb value was found in C. craniiformis. The Cd content ranged from 0.4 to 91.8 mg/kg. The highest Cd value was found in M. crustosa. The Hg content ranged from 0.28 to 3.92 mg/kg. The highest Hg level was found in Agaricus species. The levels of the heavy metals Cd, Pb, and Hg in the studied mushroom species from urban area can be considered high. The metal-to-metal correlation analysis supported they were the same source of contamination. High automobile traffic was identified as the most likely source of the contamination. Based upon the present safety standards, consumption of those mushrooms that grow in the polluted urban area should be avoided.