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Determination of Heavy Metals and Pesticides in Ginseng Products

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Abstract:

Medicinal plants may carry residuals of environmentally persistent pesticides or assimilate heavy metals in varying degrees. Several factors may influence contaminant accumulation, including species, level and duration of contaminant exposure, and topography. As part of a program for assessment of the quality of herbal medicines, we have analyzed 21 over-the-counter ginseng (Panax ginseng) products in various dosage forms. Chromium, mercury, and arsenic were undetectable above their limits of detection in both liquid and solid samples; while cadmium, lead, and nickel were present in the majority of samples. The chlorinated pesticide levels varied widely. In most samples, the total concentration of pesticides was below 100 ppb; while in 5 samples the total concentration exceeded 100 ppb.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, National Center for Natural Products Research, University, MS 38677. 2: University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Environmental and Community Health Research Program, University, MS 38677. 3: University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Environmental and Community Health Research Program, University, MS 38677; U.S. EPA, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Dr, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561.

Publication date: May 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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