Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A Chemistry, 26 (2009) 1362-1371.

DOI: 10.1080/02652030902821788


This paper presents a study of the uptake of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP), pentachlorophenol (PCP), and its metabolite pentachloroanisole (PCA) from contaminated sawdust from the forest industry in horticultural products such as apples, raspberries, and fodder maize for cattle feed. The samples were obtained from Bío-Bío Province in South Chile between 2002 and 2006. The analytical parameters of the methodology applied to the different matrices are presented and discussed. The chromatographic method was applied to determine the residues in 413 horticultural product samples. Eleven per cent of fodder maize samples showed detectable or quantifiable levels of PCP, TBP or PCA, 3% of samples presented quantifiable levels, although the concentrations surpassed the maximum allowed concentrations for vegetables (>10 µg kg−1) in only two samples. Traces of TBP were detected in eight samples, PCA was detected in 15, and PCP in 14 samples. Based on these results, a risk analysis was performed, indicating a low probability, 0.4% for PCA, 1.6% for TBP and 1.9% for PCP, to find concentrations higher than the allowed maximum. For apples and raspberries, no residues of these compounds were detected. These results indicate that those cultivars directly exposed to sawdust, like fodder maize, could contain detectable residues in several samples. To confirm this observation, a field assay was performed on fodder maize cultivated in the presence of sawdust artificially contaminated with 30 mg of TBP and/or PCP under controlled conditions. The results showed that under the experimental conditions used in the study, TBP can be transferred from sawdust to the plant, with an uptake rate of 0.04% from the TBP applied initially with sawdust but not to the corn ear. Also, the degradation of PCP to PCA was observed in the soil.

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