Determination of potentially toxic elements in some wild edible and medicinal plants
Oдређивање садржаја потенцијално токсичних метала у самониклим и љековитим биљкама
The aim of this research was to determine the Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd, and Pb contents in the following wild plants: dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Web.), broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major L.), and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) collected from the natural environment at three different locations in the north of the Republic of Srpska, in the surroundings of Banja Luka (two localities) and Doboj (one locality). The examined species represent wild edible and medical plants, most commonly used in folk medicine. Plant material and associated soils were air-dried, acid digested, and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). The results have shown the highest Zn contents in all examined plants, which were followed by the contents of other determined biogenic elements (Ni and Cu), while contents of toxic elements (Pb and Cd) were noticeably lower. The contents of potentially toxic elements determined in the plants were lower than recommended limits of toxicity, with the exception of the location L3-Stanari where elevated Ni contents were found in all examined plants and the associated soil. This implies an evident risk in case of consumption of the plants grown at this location and the need for further investigation in order to establish the exact degree of contamination and to implement proper activities.
Key words: heavy metals, wild edible plants, potential health risk.