Determination of heavy metals and selenium content in chicken liver at Erbil city, Iraq

  • Hoshyar Saadi Ali Department of Medical Lab Science, College of Science, Knowledge University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
  • Dhary Alewy Almashhadany | Department of Medical Lab Science, College of Science, Knowledge University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
  • Hawraz Sami Khalid Department of Chemistry, College of Education, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.


Heavy metal contamination of poultry meat is a critical issue for human health due to associated risks of cytotoxicity and systemic pathologies after ingestion of such metals. A total of twenty chicken liver samples were collected from markets of Erbil city and analyzed for ten heavy metals contents by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry. The targeted metals were cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se). The average concentrations (mg/kg) of targeted trace elements were 0.06±0.027, 0.06±0.05, 2.05±0.34, 1.85±0.47, 0.15±0.17, and 33.53±5.24 for Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn respectively. Copper (Cu) levels significantly exceeded the maximum permissible limit of WHO. Moreover, the average concentrations of toxic heavy metals and selenium were 0.07±0.037, 0.278±0.10, 0.11±0.083, and 2.01±0.454 mg/kg for Cd, Pb, Hg, and Se respectively. Hg and Pb levels exceeded the permissible limits of WHO. Higher levels of Cu and Hg in poultry may pose a serious threat to consumers which demand countermeasures and precautions to be taken. Iraqi Standards Authority and relevant official institutions are strongly recommended to regulate safe disposal of heavy metal waste in the environment to reduce animal exposure to such metals.



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Original Articles
Accumulated metals, Kurdistan Region, selenium content, chicken liver, ICPOES
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How to Cite
Ali, H. S., Almashhadany, D. A., & Khalid, H. S. (2020). Determination of heavy metals and selenium content in chicken liver at Erbil city, Iraq. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 9(3).