Quantitative analysis of lead in cows and buffaloes for health assessment

  • Wuyi LiuEmail author
  • Naunain Mehmood
  • Humera Saeed
  • Muhammad Arshad
  • Zafar Iqbal KhanEmail author
  • Hira Muqaddas
Research Article


The present study aimed to investigate the concentration of highly toxic heavy metal, lead (Pb), in cows and buffaloes of Sargodha district, Punjab, Pakistan. Samples of three major organs (spleen, lungs, bones) from five localities were obtained from two age groups (< 2 years, > 2 years) of each animal. With the confidence level of 95%, the investigated results demonstrated that lead concentration ranged from 0.28 to 1.12 mg kg−1 and 0.31 to 0.83 mg kg−1 in cows and buffaloes respectively. Out of the three tested organs, spleen contained the highest level of Pb (0.64–0.83 mg/kg) followed by lungs (0.28–1.12 mg/kg) and bones (0.36–0.87 mg/kg). Furthermore, a significant increase of Pb was observed in older animals. It was demonstrated that both age groups had Pb accumulation higher than the standard limit of 0.1 mg kg−1. Serving as bioindicators, the presence of toxic levels of lead in the animals indicated environmental pollution and possible risks for public health. High lead concentration in dietary commodities from Sargodha district calls for the sound management of hazardous waste. High levels of this toxic metal also indicate the possible health risks to human population of the areas in Sargodha. It is highly needed to address this metal contamination and its probable entry route into the food chain of the domesticated animals. This must be further investigated to prevent animals from lead exposure.


Lead exposure Metal contamination Health risk Public health Health assessment 



We thank the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and Department of Pharmacy, University of Sargodha, Pakistan for providing laboratory facilities. We also gratefully acknowledge all the institutional colleagues for their assistance during research period.

Funding information

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is acknowledged for providing the financial support with a research project (grant no. 2484/13). It is also financially supported by the Major Projects of Horizontal Cooperation between Fuyang Municipal Government and Fuyang Normal University (No. XDHX201725) and Anhui Provincial Educational Commission Natural Science Foundation (No. KJ2019ZD36) and the Biology First-Class Construction Discipline Project of Fuyang Normal University (No. 19XJS0710).

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the institutional animal ethical standards under SU//102.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Environmental Hormone and Reproduction, College of Biological and Food EngineeringFuyang Normal UniversityFuyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of SargodhaSargodhaPakistan
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of SargodhaSargodhaPakistan
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyThe Women UniversityMultanPakistan

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