What is it about?

Heavy metals are a serious public health concern. They were identified as cancerogenic factors. Heavy metals can be transferred to the human body through the intake of contaminated food and water as well as the inhalation of contaminated air, dust, and smoking. Industrial activities, air and underground water pollution, and volcanic regions form the main sources of heavy metal contamination. Heavy metals can be introduced to animal milk through the ingestion of contaminated water, grass, forage, and soil, as well as the pollution of air. We could identify high levels of heavy metals in some milk samples especially arsenic and lead. The presence of volcanic mountain close to the city forms the main source of heavy metal contamination of groundwater, air, and soil. On the other hand, we could identify that the use of a polyethylene terephthalate–bottle for filling raw milk is not appropriate because the cancerogenic Antimony can transfer to the milk especially in hot regions.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that the consumption of animal milk of animals reared around polluted localities such as industrial activities or volcanic regions could form a health hazard for the consumers due to the possible contamination of milk with heavy metals. Our results show also the inappropriateness of filling milk inside polyethylene terephthalate–bottles due to the potential transfer of cancerogenic Antimony from the bottle.


I hope this study will be helpful for both the milk producers and consumers as well as the local authorities to find appropriate solutions for the risk of heavy metal contamination of food products.

Prof. Duried Alwazeer
Igdir Universitesi

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This page is a summary of: Determination of trace elements, heavy metals, and antimony in polyethylene terephthalate–bottled local raw cow milk of Iğdır region in Turkey, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, October 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7851-z.
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