Intensive agricultural practices are recognized as significant sources of metal pollution in soils and pasture. This study investigated metal contamination in cattle offal from an agricultural area in Zambia, where inorganic fertilizers, agricultural lime, and pesticides are routinely applied. The highest median values (mg/kg, wet weight) of Cu (40.9), Zn (35.2), Cr (1.35) and Ni (0.594) were recorded in the liver, whereas the highest median values of Pb (0.061) and Cd (0.049) were found in kidneys. Maximum levels of Hg, As and Co were under 0.2 mg/kg in both organs. Pb and Cd did not exceed the benchmark values in cattle offal for human consumption and did not pose immediate health risks. Concentrations of Ni and Cr could present a public health concern. Monitoring of metal accumulations in offal of cattle, not only from well-known polluted environments but also agricultural areas, should be done regularly for the health of human consumers.
2012 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science