Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 4465–4472 | Cite as

Toxic heavy metals in the muscle of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)food toxicological significance

  • József Lehel
  • Péter Laczay
  • Adrienn Gyurcsó
  • Ferenc Jánoska
  • Szilvia Majoros
  • Katalin Lányi
  • Miklós Marosán
Research Article


The study was performed on 20 (10 males, 10 females) roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) to investigate the concentration of cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic in the muscle tissue. They reside in forest and meadow, about 50 km distance from industrial activities and traffic. Samples were taken from the musculus biceps femoris of each deer without external contamination after shooting during the regular hunting season on a hunting area close to Eger in Hungary. The determination of heavy metal contents was carried out by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The statistical analysis was performed by statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 11.0. The measured residue concentration of cadmium was below the limit of detection in the roe deer meat indicating no health risk for the consumers. The average lead concentration (0.48 ± 0.21 mg/kg wet weight) exceeded the regulated maximum limit, but its calculated weekly intake was below the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). The residue level of mercury is not regulated and the average mercury content of roe deer meat (0.87 ± 0.40 mg/kg wet weight) was about half of PTWI, but the consumption of meat with the highest detected concentrations results in higher PTWI than recommended. The measured concentration of arsenic (0.27 ± 0.20 mg/kg wet weight) in the roe deer meat may not pose any health risk for the human consumers according to the PTWI set by the World Health Organization.


Heavy metals Food safety Accumulation Food chain Roe deer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • József Lehel
    • 1
  • Péter Laczay
    • 1
  • Adrienn Gyurcsó
    • 2
  • Ferenc Jánoska
    • 3
  • Szilvia Majoros
    • 4
  • Katalin Lányi
    • 1
  • Miklós Marosán
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceSzent István UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.National Food Chain Safety OfficeBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Institute of Wildlife Management and Vertebrata Zoology, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of West HungarySopronHungary
  4. 4.Károly Róbert Public Nonprofit Ltd. LaboratoryAtkárHungary
  5. 5.Department of Exotic Animal and Wildlife Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceSzent István UniversityBudapestHungary

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