Evidence of Some Trace Elements, Organochlorine Pesticides and PCBs in Slovenian Cow’s Milk

Vesna Cerkvenik1, Darinka Zdenka Doganoc1* and Jurij Jan2

Institute for Food Hygiene and Bromatology, Veterinary Faculty, Gerbičeva 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

2Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Grablovičeva 44, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:

Received January 19, 2000
Accepted May 17, 2000

Key words:

trace elements (Pb, Cd, As, Hg), lindane, α-HCH, DDT, polychlorinated biphenils, cow's milk


From year 1994 to 1998 samples of raw cow’s milk from 19 dairy locations were examined for residues of trace elements. Pb contents in all 188 samples corresponded to tolerance level (0.1 mg/kg) and in 98 % of these samples were below 0.05 mg/kg. All samples examined for residues of Cd (133), As (67) and total Hg (48) were completely acceptable as well. Cd and As residues were under detectable levels, while the highest total Hg value was 0.007 mg/kg. Residue levels of organochlorine pesticides in all 174 analysed samples were far below tolerance levels, too. In 90 % of samples α-HCH and in 86 % of samples lindane was below the limit of detection (0.003 mg/kg of fat). The highest α-HCH and lindane content was 0.008 and 0.023 mg/kg of fat, respectively. The level of heptachlor was below the limit of detection (0.003 mg/kg of fat). In 93.1 % of samples total DDT residues were between <0.005 and 0.02 mg/kg of fat, while the median and highest values were 0.007 and 0.091 mg/kg of fat, respectively. 108 samples were examined for PCB residues with the highest residue level of 0.14 mg of total PCB/kg of fat content. The median residue level was 0.005 mg of total PCB/kg of fat, which is 200 times lower than tolerance. 87 % of samples contained PCB residues between 0.002 and 0.08 mg PCB /kg of fat.  

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