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Uptake of Cd, Pb, and Ni by Origanum syriacum produced in Lebanon

  • Razan Dbaibo
  • Isam BashourEmail author
  • Shady Hamadeh
  • Imad Toufeili
Original Paper

Abstract

Trace metals are found naturally in soil. However, the increase in industrial and agricultural polluting activities has increased trace metal contamination and raised high concerns in the public health sector. The study was conducted on Origanum syriacum, one of the most consumed herbs in the Middle East, and was divided into three parts. (1) Pot experiment: to study the effect of Cd, Pb, or Ni levels in soil on their uptake by O. syriacum. (2) Field samples: collected from major agricultural regions in Lebanon to analyze Cd, Pb, and Ni concentrations in soil and leaves. (3) Sale outlets samples: to measure the levels of Cd, Pb, and Ni in O. syriacum tissues in the market. Results showed that there was a positive correlation between levels of Cd, Pb, and Ni in soil and those in O. syriacum tissues. None of the field samples contained Pb or Ni that exceeded the maximum allowable limits (MAL). Three samples collected from heavily poultry-manured soil contained Cd higher than the MAL. Samples collected from sale outlets did not exceed the MAL for Ni but two exceeded the MAL for Cd and one for Pb. Trace metal contamination is not a major concern in O. syriacum produced in Lebanon. Only one mixture sample from a sale outlet was higher in Pb than the MAL and three samples from heavily manured fields exceeded the MAL for Cd.

Keywords

Zaatar Thyme Trace metal Heavy metal Environmental pollutants 

Abbreviations

AHPA

American Herbal Products Association

ATSDR

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

AUB

American University of Beirut

b.w.

Body weight

DTPA

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid

du

Dunums

EFSA

European Food Safety Authority

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

FAO

Food and Agricultural Organization

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

h

Hours

JECFA

Joint Expert Committee for Food Additives

MAL

Maximum allowable limits

MENA

Middle East and North Africa

TE

Trace Elements

TEA

Triethanolamine

Trt

Treatment

WHO

World Health Organization

yr

Year

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Ms. Rania Shatila, Laboratory Manager, and the KAS CRSL staff for their assistance in using the atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) for elemental analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Razan Dbaibo
    • 1
  • Isam Bashour
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shady Hamadeh
    • 1
  • Imad Toufeili
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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