Document Detail

Accumulation of heavy metals in water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) cultivated in the Bangkok region, Thailand.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12206434     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The aquatic plant water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica), either wild or cultivated, is found throughout Southeast Asia and is a widely consumed vegetable in the region. Many of the waters where I. aquatica grows serve as recipients for domestic and other types of wastewater. Because these waters contain not only nutrients, but often also a wide variety of pollutants such as heavy metals from various human activities, many people risk intoxication. To estimate the accumulation of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), total mercury (total Hg), and methylmercury in I. aquatica and the potential hazard to human health via consumption, nine sites for cultivation of I. aquatica in the greater Bangkok region of Thailand were sampled. At seven of the sites, I. aquatica was cultivated for the local food market. The concentrations of methylmercury, total Hg, Pb, and Cd in I. aquatica were 0.8 to 221, 12 to 2,590, 40 to 530, and < or = 10 to 123 microg/kg dry weight, respectively. At all sites at least one element showed relatively high concentrations and no reference site could be established. From threshold values for highest tolerable intake of these metals by humans and information about consumption of I. aquatica among local people, Pb and Cd concentrations in I. aquatica do not seem to be a direct threat to human health. However, concentrations of Hg were very high at some sites, and were higher in leaves (highest mean value: 1,440 microg/kg dry wt) than in stems (highest mean value: 422 microg/kg dry wt). This might be a threat, especially to children and fetuses, because Hg in I. aquatica was composed of methylmercury, partly or totally, at most sites to 11% or less and at one site from 50 to 100%. At the latter site, I. aquatica was not cultivated for the food market. Because other food sources, such as fish, may have high concentrations of methylmercury, these results indicate a need for monitoring of Hg, especially methylmercury, in different foodstuffs in the region.
Agneta Göthberg; Maria Greger; Bengt-Erik Bengtsson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC     Volume:  21     ISSN:  0730-7268     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Toxicol. Chem.     Publication Date:  2002 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-09-02     Completed Date:  2003-01-14     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8308958     Medline TA:  Environ Toxicol Chem     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1934-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Laboratory for Aquatic Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Monitoring
Food Contamination*
Ipomoea / chemistry*
Metals, Heavy / pharmacokinetics*
Methylmercury Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
Public Health
Risk Assessment
Tissue Distribution
Waste Disposal, Fluid
Water Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Metals, Heavy; 0/Methylmercury Compounds; 0/Water Pollutants

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