Concentrations of metals and metalloids in soils that have the potential to lead to exceedance of maximum limit concentrations of contaminants in food and feed

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

McGrath, S. P. and Zhao, F-J. 2015. Concentrations of metals and metalloids in soils that have the potential to lead to exceedance of maximum limit concentrations of contaminants in food and feed. Soil Use and Management. 31 (Suppl. 1), pp. 34-45.

AuthorsMcGrath, S. P. and Zhao, F-J.
Abstract

This review focusses on the transfers of metals and metalloids from soil to food and feed, based mostly on UK information. Published information on the behaviour of a number of these contaminants in soil-plant systems is used to evaluate which elements are likely to transfer to food and feed. Data on the concentrations of metals and metalloids in soils and other soil properties in England and Wales are used in models to illustrate the likelihood of transfers exceeding the maximum concentration limits in food and feed in European legislation. Information from crop and herbage quality surveys is used to compare with the output from models. In most cases, the modelled or observed concentrations in food and feed do not reach the maximum allowable concentrations. Of all the contaminants considered, Cd appears to be most likely to exceed limit concentrations under UK conditions, but at present, there is some difficulty predicting Pb uptake and As uptake into the edible parts of crops from soil. However, crops exceeding the food limits are more likely to be grown if those crops are vegetables and if soil limit concentrations and best soil management practices have not been followed (e.g. maintenance of high soil pH in the case of cationic metals). We discuss the gaps and uncertainties for different metals and metalloids and show the need to review the situation if food or feed maximum concentration limits are changed as new information becomes available on toxicology and dietary exposure.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication2015
JournalSoil Use and Management
Journal citation31 (Suppl. 1), pp. 34-45
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/sum.12080
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
PublisherWiley
ISSN0266-0032

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