oa South African Journal of Chemistry - Assessment of levels of V, Cr, Mn, Sr, Cd, Pb and U in bovine meat : research article

Volume 65, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-4350



Pollution of the environment with heavy metals can be a serious problem. In South Africa, particularly, there are many sources of heavy metals, often due to smelter and mining activities. This has led to toxic metals in the environment that directly affect air, water and food. The presence of heavy metal residues in foodstuffs is potentially hazardous to humans and animals. Heavy metals accumulate in certain organs, particularly in the liver and kidney. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of V, Cr, Mn, Sr, Cd, Pb and U in bovine organs and tissues obtained from polluted areas of North West Province, South Africa. Bovine liver, kidney, muscle, fat and bone samples were freeze-dried, homogenized and mineralized using a microwave-assisted digestion system. The levels were quantified using dynamic reaction cell inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (DRC-ICP-MS). A bovine muscle (NIST-RM8414) and bovine liver, reference material (NIST-RM1577b), were also analyzed and results agreed with certified values. The study revealed accumulation of Sr in bone, Cd, Pb and U in kidney and bone, Mn in liver and, V and Cr in kidney tissues of cattle.

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