Presence of heavy metals (arsenic and mercury) in cow’s milk at southern Ecuador

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José Ayala Armijos
Hugo Romero Bonill

Abstract

This work was developed in cantón Arenillas, El Oro province, located in the south of Ecuador. The objective of this work was to determine the presence of Arsenic and Mercury in commercialized milk which is obtained from local cattle. Milk samples were collected from dairy cows and in local markets of Canton Arenillas. The samples were analyzed by Hydride Vapour Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry after digestion, according to EPA and AWWA regulations. The results shown that the assessment of Mercury exceeds 2.2 times the standard values established by the Ecuadorian Technical Standards 0009:2008 (NTE) 0.005 mg/kg in average; while for arsenic, the presence of this metal did not exceed the value of 0.015 mg/kg, which is the limit allowed by the NTE 0009:2008.
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