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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9385716, 11 pages
Research Article

Safety of Potato Consumption in Slovak Region Contaminated by Heavy Metals due to Previous Mining Activity

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Nitra, Slovakia
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
3Department of Vegetable Production, Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Nitra, Slovakia

Correspondence should be addressed to Janette Musilova

Received 18 July 2016; Revised 20 September 2016; Accepted 26 October 2016; Published 12 January 2017

Academic Editor: Jordi Rovira

Copyright © 2017 Janette Musilova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heavy metals are among the most serious environmental contaminants in mining districts. Soil, as one of the main components of the environment, is the place of heavy metal entry into plants and consequently into the food chain, too. Potatoes grown in the region of Middle Spis (Slovakia) may be a source of increased content of heavy metals and pose a health risk to the consumer. The contents of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, and Ni) in potato and soil samples were determined using the AAS method and compared with limit values set by the Slovak Republic and the European Union. The content of heavy metals was determined in 12 potato cultivars with different length of vegetation period (mid-early, very early, and early, resp.), which were grown in three localities with a highly disturbed environment. Total contents and mobile forms of heavy metals as well as physical and chemical properties were determined in soil samples which were collected from the same sampling sites. Only Pb content in potato tubers was higher than the hygienic limit value (0.1 mg kg−1 FM) in 15 sampling sites (interval was n.d. –0.2298 mg kg−1 FM). The contents of exchangeable forms (total content) of heavy metals in soil were ranged between the intervals: Cd 0.004–0.055 (0.94–1 56), Pb 0.023–0.295 (17.00–26.80), and Ni 0.019–0.475 (30.80–71.00) mg kg−1. At current average consumption levels of potatoes, tolerable weekly intake (TWI) or tolerable daily intake (TDI) for observed heavy metals was not exceeded.