Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hives Placed Near Highways May Risk Lead Contamination of Honey

Lead Content in Multifloral Honey from Central Croatia Over a Three-Year Period
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Online First

Lead concentrations were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry in multifloral honeys collected in central Croatia (Zagreb County) during a three-year period from 2009 to 2011. The mean levels of elements (μg/kg) in honey samples measured were: 90.8 in 2009, 189 in 2010 and 360 in 2011.

Significant differences were observed, and Pb levels determined in 2009 were significantly lower than those in 2010 and 2011 (p < 0.05, both). In 2009 there was no concentration found above 300 μg/kg. However, in 2010 and 2011 levels exceeding 300 μg/kg were found in 28.6 % and 25 % of samples. Trace element levels of Pb determined in multifloral honey were generally higher than concentrations obtained from other geographical origins and neighbouring countries.

These high concentrations of Pb may be related to the fact that the central region is becoming increasingly urban and the network of motorways is growing. Accordingly, the risk of positioning hives near zones of busy highways and railways is increasing.

This underlines that particular attention should be paid to toxic Pb levels, due to their gradual increased during the study period.

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