The relationship between the content of heavy metals Pb and Zn in some components of the environment, fishes as food and human health

Elica Valkova1, Vasil Atanasov1, Tatyana Vlaykova2, Tanya Tacheva2, Yanitsa Zhelyazkova1, Dimo Dimov2 and Kristian Yakimov3
1 Trakia University, Agriculture Faculty, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Physics, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Trakia University, Medical Faculty, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
3 Trakia University, Agriculture Faculty, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


Valkova, E., Atanasov, V., Vlaykova, T., Tacheva, T., Zhelyazkova, Y., Dimov, D. & Yakimov, K. (2021). The relationship between the content of heavy metals Pb and Zn in some components of the environment, fishes as food and human health. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (5), 954–962

The aim of the study was to establish the relationship between the content of Pb and Zn in the air, water, musculature of fish (Cyprinus carpio L.) and the blood serum of patients with and without COPD. The determination of the amounts of the studied heavy metals in drinking water and the blood serum of the patients was carried out by the method of atomic absorption.
The concentrations of Pb in the air do not exceed the requirements of Regulation 12 of 15.07.2010. The levels of lead found in the drinking water of the of Stara Zagora Town in the period June 2019 – July 2020 often approach the limit value determined by Regulation №9 of 16.03.2001 (0.01 mg/l). The established concentrations of zinc in the drinking water of the cities of Radnevo and Stara Zagora during the reported period are lower than the MAC of 4 mg/l defined in the normative documents.
The analysis of the data on our study of 2015 for the content of Zn in the musculature of common carp does not show an excess of the MAC set by the then current Regulation 31. The highest levels of zinc, which do not even approach the established norms were reached in muscle samples from fish delivered from Ovcharitsa Dam (8.09 mg/kg). With the lowest measured concentrations characterized Pastren Dam (2.69 mg/kg). Musculature samples from all studied water bodies do not exceed the MAC for lead, indicated in the then valid Regulation 31 and now the current Regulation №5 of the Bulgarian legislation and EC Regulation №1881 of 2006 with amendment from 2010 for determining the maximum permissible concentrations of some contaminants in foods. Although the values obtained are much lower than the regulated MAC, the highest concentrations are characterized carps from Lake Pastren Dam (0.04 mg/kg), and the lowest those from the Ovcharitsa Dam (0.01 mg/kg).

Keywords: lead; zinc; blood serum; COPD; musculature; carp; environment
Abbreviations: AAV – Annual average values; COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
DNA – Deoxyribonucleic acid; DOAS system – differential optical absorption spectroscopy – automatic sampling and analysis, averaged every hour; EEA – Executive Environment Agency; MAC – Maximum allowable concentration; PM10 – Particulate matter 10; RHI – Regional Health Inspectorate

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