Abstract
Background: The topic of food safety has become a major public health issue worldwide. Over recent decades, the growing concern for food safety has brought about greater research regarding the risks associated with the consumption of produce that has been contaminated by pesticides, heavy metals and/or toxins.
Objective: The study was conducted to determine the concentration of Pb in the muscle of buffalos slaughtered in the northwest regions of Iran (Ardabil, Urmia and Tabriz cities). 
Methods: The present was a descriptive cross-sectional study in the northwest regions of Iran during 2013 to 2014. A total of 30 muscle samples from individual buffalos were analyzed for Pb concentrations using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (ASS). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0. All results were computed as mean standard deviation and subjected to one-way analysis of variance to establish whether the differences in Pb concentrations in meat samples from different cities were significant or not. The Statistical significance was determined at p<0.05. 
Results: The results showed that the mean concentration of Pb in muscle samples were measured 0.043±0.035 ppm. The highest Pb concentration (0.11 ppm) was detected in the buffalo muscle samples from Urmia city. In total, 25 muscle samples (80.33%) were contaminated with Pb and concentration of Pb in 3.33% of contaminated samples exceeded the permissible limits advised by the European Commission (EC) (0.1 ppm). 
Conclusion: We recommend identifying Pb sources in order to eliminate or control Pb contamination of food, and monitor environmental exposures and hazards to prevent lead poisoning.

 

 
Keywords: Buffalo, Muscles, Pb, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Iran

 

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