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Elevated selenium in vegetables, fruits, and wild plants affected by Raša coal mine water chemistry

Medunić, Gordana; Bilandžić, Nina; Sedak, Marija; Fiket, Željka; Prevendar Crnić, Andreja; Geng, Vanja (2021) Elevated selenium in vegetables, fruits, and wild plants affected by Raša coal mine water chemistry. Rudarsko-geološko-naftni zbornik, 36 (1) (52). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0353-4529

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Selenium (Se), an essential trace element that is toxic when humans and animals are exposed to it in excess, is ubiquitous in coal. For centuries, superhigh-organic-sulfur (SHOS) Raša coal, enriched in S, Se, U, V, and Mo, was mined and processed across the Mediterranean Raša Bay area, located in the Istrian peninsula (northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia). There is a concern that Raša coal mine water is contaminating local water, soil, and crops. The aim of this monitoring study was to determine levels of Se and selected potentially toxic trace (As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Mo, Pb, U, V, and Zn), and minor (Fe and Mn) elements in Raša coal mine water, surface water, and associated vegetables, one fruit, and wild plants. Levels of Se in coal mine water were increased (up to 12 µg/L) compared to a maximum allowed water Se (10 µg/L). Compared to an EU average soil Se (1.15 mg/kg), Raša garden soil showed a 5-fold increase in Se. Compared to Croatian and Greek vegetable Se levels (low to normal), Raša vegetables showed 20-fold, and a 50-fold increase in Se, respectively. Although approximative only, estimates of daily intake (EDI) of Se for mixed Raša vegetables (n = 21) showed a high level (0.055 mg/day). Namely, recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of Se for females and males are 0.055 mg/day, and 0.070 mg/day, respectively. The EDI values of the analyzed vegetables contributed to averaged RDA levels as follows: garlic (183%), turnip (154%), parsley (147%), onion and gourd (76%), lettuce (74%), kale (62%), radicchio (51%), and potato (20%). Although the calculated EDI for the analyzed Raša vegetables was 1/8 the toxic dose (>0.4 mg/day), these results call for further research on dietary and nutritional status of the residents in terms of Se.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Raša coal ; water ; vegetables ; selenium ; estimated daily intake
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Geology
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Transport, sudbina i toksičnost metal(oid)a otpuštenih iz ležišta industrijskog otpadaFiket, ŽeljkaIP-2019-04-9354HRZZ
Depositing User: Željka Fiket
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 13:09
DOI: 10.17794/rgn.2021.1.1

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