Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A systematic review and meta-analysis of lead and cadmium concentrations in cow milk in Iran and human health risk assessment


The aim of the current research was to systematically review and summarize the studies that evaluated the concentration of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in cow milk in different regions of Iran and to perform a meta-analysis of the findings. Moreover, the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks of Pb and Cd through milk consumption in adult and child consumers were assessed. As a result of a systematic search in the international and national databases between January 2008 and October 2018, 17 reports involving 1874 samples were incorporated in our study for meta-analysis. The pooled concentrations of Pb and Cd were estimated to be 13.95 μg mL−1 (95% CI 9.72–18.11 μg mL−1) and 3.55 μg mL−1 (95% CI − 2.38–9.48 μg mL−1), respectively, which were lower than the WHO/FAO and national standard limits. The estimated weekly intake (EWI) of Pb and Cd through consuming milk was 16.65 and 7 μg day−1 for adults of 70 kg and 45 and 34 μg day−1 for children of 26 kg, respectively, which was well below the risk values set by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The maximum target hazard quotient values (THQs) of Pb and Cd were 5.55E−5 and 5.55E−5 for adults and 5.55E−5 and 5.55E−5 for children, respectively, which were lower than 1 value, suggesting that Iranian consumers are not exposed to non-carcinogenic risk through consuming milk. Moreover, the incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) of Pb estimated to be 2.96E−04 in adults and 1.0E−03 in children, indicating that consumers in Iran are at threshold carcinogenic risk of Pb through consuming milk (ILCR > 10−4). Therefore, planning and policy making for the sustainable reduction of these toxic metals in milk, particularly in industrial regions of Iran, are crucial.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. Abadin H, Ashizawa A, Llados F, Stevens Y.-W. (2007) Toxicological profile for lead, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  2. Abdalla M, Hassabo A, Elsheikh N (2013) Assessment of some heavy metals in waste water and milk of animals grazed around sugar cane plants in Sudan. Livest Res Rural Dev 25:12

  3. Abdulkhaliq A, Swaileh K, Hussein RM, Matani M (2012) Levels of metals (Cd, Pb, Cu and Fe) in cow’s milk, dairy products and hen’s eggs from the West Bank, Palestine. Int Food Res J 13:1089–1094

  4. Abedi A, Ferdousi R, Eskandari S, Seyyedahmadian F, Khaksar R (2011) Determination of lead and cadmium content in sausages from Iran. Food Addit Contam B 4:254–258

  5. Abedi A, Hashempour-Baltork F, Alizadeh AM, Beikzadeh S, Hosseini H, Bashiry M, Taslikh M, Javanmardi F, Sheidaee Z & Sarlak Z (2019) The prevalence of Brucella spp. in dairy products in the Middle East region: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta trop. 105-241

  6. Antwi SO, Eckert EC, Sabaque CV, Leof ER, Hawthorne KM, Bamlet WR, Chaffee KG, Oberg AL, Petersen GM (2015) Exposure to environmental chemicals and heavy metals, and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Causes Control 26:1583–1591

  7. Atamaleki A, Yazdanbakhsh A, Fakhri Y, Mahdipour F, Khodakarim S & Khaneghah AM (2019) The concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in the onion and tomato irrigated by wastewater: a systematic review; meta-analysis and health risk assessment. Food res. Int. 108-518

  8. Ataro A, McCrindle RI, Botha B, McCrindle CME, Ndibewu P (2008) Quantification of trace elements in raw cow’s milk by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Food Chem 111:243–248

  9. Ayar A, Sert D, Akın N (2009) The trace metal levels in milk and dairy products consumed in middle Anatolia—Turkey. Environ Monit Assess 152:1–12

  10. Bamuwamye M, Ogwok P, Tumuhairwe V (2015) Cancer and non-cancer risks associated with heavy metal exposures from street foods: evaluation of roasted meats in an urban setting. J Enviro Pollu Hu Health 3(2):24–30

  11. Beldman A, van Berkum S, Kortstee H, Zijlstra J (2017) Dairy farming and dairy industry in Iran. Wageningen Economic Research:1–51

  12. Bilandžić N, Đokić M, Sedak M, Solomun B, Varenina I, Knežević Z, Benić M (2011) Trace element levels in raw milk from northern and southern regions of Croatia. Food Chem 127:63–66

  13. Broomandi P, Dabir B, Bonakdarpour B, Rashidi Y (2017) Identification of dust storm origin in south-west of Iran. J Environ Health Sci Eng 15:16

  14. Caggiano R, Sabia S, D’Emilio M, Macchiato M, Anastasio A, Ragosta M, Paino S (2005) Metal levels in fodder, milk, dairy products, and tissues sampled in ovine farms of southern Italy. Environ Res 99(1):48–57

  15. Castro-González NP, Calderón-Sánchez F, Castro de Jesús J, Moreno-Rojas R, Tamariz-Flores JV, Pérez-Sato M, Soní-Guillermo E (2018) Heavy metals in cow’s milk and cheese produced in areas irrigated with waste water in Puebla. Mexico Food Addit Contam B 11:33–36

  16. Codex Alimentarius Commission (1999) Discussion paper on maximum level for Pb in milk and secondary milk products. In: Joint FAO/WHO food standards programme, twentythird session. The Italy, The Rome

  17. Codex Alimentarius Commission (2011) Report of the 50th session of the codex committee on food additives and contaminants. Codex Alimentarius Commission, Hague

  18. Dadar M, Adel M, Nasrollahzadeh Saravi H, Fakhri Y (2017) Trace element concentration and its risk assessment in common kilka (Clupeonella cultriventris caspia Bordin, 1904) from southern basin of Caspian Sea. Toxin Rev 36:222–227

  19. de Oliveira TM, Peres JA, Felsner ML, Justi KC (2017) Direct determination of Pb in raw milk by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF AAS) with electrothermal atomization sampling from slurries. Food Chem 229:721–725

  20. Delavar M, Abdollahi M, Navabi A, Sadeghi M, Hadavand S, Mansouri A (2012) Evaluation and determination of toxic metals, lead and cadmium, in incoming raw milk from traditional and industrial farms to milk production factories in Arak, Iran. Iranian J Toxicol 6:630–634

  21. Delavar M, Asghari GR, Amiri F, Abdollahi M (2011) The study of toxic metals contamination (Pb, Cd, As, Al) on medicinal plants cultivated near arak industrial manufactures. Iranian J Toxicol 5:482–487

  22. Demirbaş A (1999) Proximate and heavy metal composition in chicken meat and tissues. Food Chem 67:27–31

  23. Demirezen D, Uruç K (2006) Comparative study of trace elements in certain fish, meat and meat products. Meat Sci 74:255–260

  24. Derakhshesh SM, Rahimi E (2012) Determination of lead residue in raw cow milk from different regions of Iran by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. Am-Eur J Toxicol Sci 4:16–19

  25. Dobrzanski Z, Kolacz R, Górecka H, Chojnacka K, Bartkowiak A (2005) The content of microelements and trace elements in raw milk from cows in the Silesian region. Pol J Environ Stud 14:685

  26. El Sayed EM, Hamed AM, Badran SM, Mostafa AA (2011) A survey of selected essential and heavy metals in milk from different regions of Egypt using ICP-AES. Food Addit Contam B 4:294–298

  27. EPA (2000) Risk-based concentration table. United States Environmental Protection Agency. U. S. E. P. A. Washington DC, Philadelphia PA

  28. EPA (2004) Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, vol. I Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part A) EPA/540/1–89/002

  29. EPA (2011) Body Weight Studies, Exposure Factors Handbook: 2011 Edition, Washington, DC

  30. EPA (2018) IRIS advanced search. https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris/search/index.cfm? keyword=pretilachlor+

  31. European Union (2006) Commission regulation (EC) no. 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. Off J Eur Union 364:5–24

  32. Fakhri Y, Abtahi M, Atamaleki A, Raoofi A, Atabati H, Asadi A, Miri A, Shamloo E, Alinejad A, Keramati H, Khaneghah A (2019) The concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in honey: a global systematic review and meta-analysis and risk assessment. Tre Food SciTechnol 91:98–506

  33. Fakhri Y, Khaneghah AM, Conti GO, Ferrante M, Khezri A, Darvishi A, Ahmadi M, Hasanzadeh V, Rahimizadeh A, Keramati H (2018a) Probabilistic risk assessment (Monte Carlo simulation method) of Pb and cd in the onion bulb (Allium cepa) and soil of Iran. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25:30894–30906

  34. Fakhri Y, Mohseni-Bandpei A, Conti GO, Ferrante M, Cristaldi A, Jeihooni AK, Dehkordi MK, Alinejad A, Rasoulzadeh H, Mohseni SM (2018b) Systematic review and health risk assessment of arsenic and lead in the fished shrimps from the Persian gulf. Food Chem Toxicol 113:278–286

  35. Fakhri Y, Mohseni-Bandpei A, Conti GO, Ferrante M, Cristaldi A, Jeihooni AK, Dehkordi MK, Alinejad A, Rasoulzadeh H, Mohseni SM (2018) Systematic review and health risk assessment of arsenic and lead in the fished shrimps from the Persian gulf. Food Chem Toxicol 113:278–286

  36. FAO (2017) Gateway to dairy production and products. Milk and milk products. http://www.fao.org/dairy-production-products/products/en/

  37. FAO STAT (2013) Milk consumption—excluding butter (total) (kg/capita/yr), viewed 27th January, 2013, <http://faostat.fao.org/site/610/DesktopDefault.aspx? PageID=610#ancor>

  38. FAO/WHO (2004) Food and agriculture Orgnization/World Health Organization, summary of evaluations performed by the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives (JECFA 1956–2003), (first through sixty first meetings). ILSI Press International Life Sciences Institute

  39. FAO/WHO (2010) Food and agriculture Orgnization/World Health Organization, joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives, summary report of the seventy-third meeting of JECFA in the WHO technical report series (pp. 12–13), Geneva, Switzerland

  40. FAO/WHO (2008) Codex Alimentarius commission procedural manual, 18th ed. In: Rome, food and agriculture organization of the united nations. AlimentariusCommission, Codex

  41. Farokhi A, Tayebipoor M, Koohpeima F, Mokhtari MJ (2017) Lead and cancer. J Cell Immunother 3:2

  42. Faroon O, Ashizawa A, Wright S, Tucker P, Jenkins K, Ingerman L, Rudisill C (2012) Toxicological profile for cadmium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  43. Fowler BA (2009) Monitoring of human populations for early markers of cadmium toxicity: a review. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 238:294–300

  44. Friberg L (2017) Cadmium in the environment: 2nd ed. CRC Press, p 234

  45. Friberg L, Nordberg GF, Vouk VB (1979) Handbook on the toxicology of metals, Elsevier. Amsterdam. 355-381

  46. Ghadimi F, Ghomi M, Ranjbar M, Hajati A (2013) Statistical analysis of heavy metal contamination in urban dusts of Arak, Iran. Iran J energy environ 4:406–418

  47. Ghorbanian G, Kardavani P, Sarvati M, Eyvazi JJ (2016) Measuring the concentrations of heavy metals in dust in Ahvaz-Iran. Toxin Rev 35, 16-23.

  48. González-Montaña JR, Senís E, Gutiérrez A, Prieto F (2012) Cadmium and lead in bovine milk in the mining area of the Caudal River (Spain). Environ Monit Assess 184:4029–4034

  49. Gonzalez NPC, Moreno-Rojas R, Calderón F, Sánchez AMO, Meneses MJ (2017) Assessment risk to children’s health due to consumption of cow’s milk in polluted areas in Puebla and Tlaxcala, Mexico

  50. Guelinckx I, Ferreira-Pêgo C, Moreno LA, Kavouras SA, Gandy J, Martinez H, Bardosono S, Abdollahi M, Nasseri E, Jarosz A (2015a) Intake of water and different beverages in adults across 13 countries. Eur J Nutr 54:45–55

  51. Guelinckx I, Iglesia I, Bottin J, De Miguel-Etayo P, Gonzalez-Gil E, Salas-Salvado J, Kavouras S, Gandy J, Martinez H, Bardosono S (2015b) Intake of water and beverages of children and adolescents in 13 countries. Eur J Nutr 54:69–79

  52. Güldaş M (2008) Comparison of digestion methods and trace elements determination in chocolates with pistachio using atomic absorption spectrometry. J Food Nutr Res 47

  53. Hosseini S, Sobhanardakani S, Tahergorabi R, Delfieh P (2013) Selected heavy metals analysis of Persian sturgeon’s (Acipenser persicus) caviar from southern Caspian Sea. Biol Trace Elem Res 154:357–362

  54. IARC (1993) IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: beryllium, cadmium, mercury, and exposures in the glass manufacturing industry. 58. International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France (453 pp.). Available from. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol58/mono58.pdf, Accessed date: 4 July 2016

  55. IARC (2006) IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Inorganic and organic lead compounds. 87. International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France (529 pp.). Available from https://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol87/mono87.pdf, Accessed date: 4 July 2016

  56. IARC (2017) WHO/IARC (World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer). List of classifications, agents classified by the IARC monographs, publication on line. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/latest_classif.php, Accessed date: 7 July 2017

  57. IDF Standard (1979) Metal contamination in milk and milk products Int Dairy Fed Bull Document no 105

  58. IRIS (2010) Integrated Risk Information System, US environmental protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH. http://www.epa.gov/iris. 4–9

  59. ISIRI (2009) Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran, Food & Feed-Maximum limit of heavy metals, 1st Edition.

  60. Islam MS, Ahmed MK, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M, Raknuzzaman M (2015) The concentration, source and potential human health risk of heavy metals in the commonly consumed foods in Bangladesh. Ecotox Environ Safe 122:462–469

  61. Ismail A, Riaz M, Akhtar S, Goodwill JE, Sun J (2017) Heavy metals in milk: global prevalence and health risk assessment. Toxin Rev:1–12

  62. Ismail A, Riaz M, Akhtar S, Ismail T, Ahmad Z, Hashmi MS (2015) Estimated daily intake and health risk of heavy metals by consumption of milk. Food Addit Contam B 8:260–265

  63. Jafarnejadi AR, Homaee M, Sayyad G, Bybordi M (2011) Large scale spatial variability of accumulated cadmium in the wheat farm grains. Soil Sediment Contam 20:98–113

  64. JECFA (2011) Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. 73 Report, 2010, Geneva, Switzerland; WHO technical report series, n°. 960, (237 pp.). Available from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44515/WHO_TRS_960_eng.pdf. Accessed July 4, 2015

  65. Kamkar A, Noudoost B, Bidhendi GN, Bidhendi ME, Nejad AM (2010) Monitoring of heavy metals in raw milk of vet husbandries in industrial regions of Isfahan Province of Iran. Asian J Chem 22:7927

  66. Karrari P, Mehrpour O, Abdollahi M (2012) A systematic review on status of lead pollution and toxicity in Iran; guidance for preventive measures. DARU J Pharm Sci 20:2

  67. Kazi TG, Jalbani N, Baig JA, Kandhro GA, Afridi HI, Arain MB, Jamali MK, Shah AQ (2009) Assessment of toxic metals in raw and processed milk samples using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Food Chem Toxicol 47:2163–2169

  68. Khan K, Khan H, Lu Y, Ihsanullah I, Nawab J, Khan S, Shah NS, Shamshad I, Maryam A (2014a) Evaluation of toxicological risk of foodstuffs contaminated with heavy metals in Swat, Pakistan. Ecotox Environ Safe 108:224–232

  69. Khan N, Jeong IS, Hwang IM, Kim JS, Choi SH, Nho EY, Choi JY, Park KS, Kim KS (2014b) Analysis of minor and trace elements in milk and yogurts by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Food Chem 147:220–224

  70. Khaneghah AM, Fakhri Y, Abdi L, Coppa CFSC, Franco LT & de Oliveira CAF (2019) The concentration and prevalence of ochratoxin a in coffee and coffee-based products: a global systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression. Fungal Biol

  71. Kosanovic M, Jokanovic M, Jevremovic M, Dobric S, Bokonjic D (2002) Maternal and fetal cadmium and selenium status in normotensive and hypertensive pregnancy. Biol Trace Elem Res 89:97–103

  72. Kurajdová K, Táborecká-Petrovičová J, Kaščáková A (2015) Factors influencing milk consumption and purchase behavior—evidence from Slovakia. Procedia Econ Financ 34:573–580

  73. Maas S, Lucot E, Gimbert F, Crini N, Badot P-M (2011) Trace metals in raw cows’ milk and assessment of transfer to Comté cheese. Food Chem 129:7–12

  74. Meshref AM, Moselhy WA, Hassan NE-HY (2014) Heavy metals and trace elements levels in milk and milk products. J Food meas Charact 8:381–388

  75. Mishra K (2009) Lead exposure and its impact on immune system: a review. Toxicol in Vitro 23:969–972

  76. Moallem Bandani H, Ali Malayeri F, Arefi D, Rajabian M, Entezari Heravi R, Rafighdoost L, Sepehrikiya S (2016) Determination of lead and cadmium in cow’s milk and elimination by using titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Food Nutr Res 3:57–62

  77. Moher D, Shamseer L, Clarke M, Ghersi D, Liberati A, Petticrew M, Shekelle P, Stewart LA (2015) Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement. Syst Rev 4:1

  78. Moradi M, Salehi I, Moghimbeygi A, Negad HB, Pourtaghi J, Nanzari Z (2012) Evaluation of cadmium residue levels in raw milk from regions of Hamedan province in Iran, with emphasis on factors that affect on the residue of cadmium in raw milk. Middle-East J Sci Res 11:324–328

  79. Muhib MI, Chowdhury MAZ, Easha NJ, Rahman MM, Shammi M, Fardous Z, Bari ML, Uddin MK, Kurasaki M, Alam MK (2016) Investigation of heavy metal contents in cow milk samples from area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Int J Food Contam 3:16

  80. Najarnezhad V, Akbarabadi M (2013) Heavy metals in raw cow and ewe milk from north-east Iran. Food Addit Contam B 6:158–162

  81. Najarnezhad V, Jalilzadeh-Amin G, Anassori E, Zeinali V (2015) Lead and cadmium in raw buffalo, cow and ewe milk from West Azerbaijan, Iran. Food Addit Contam B.8:123–127

  82. Nejatolahi M, Mehrjo F, Sheykhi A, Bineshpor M (2014) Lead concentrations in raw cows’ milk from Fars Province of Iran. Am J Food Nutr 2:92–94

  83. Nikpooyan H, Sani AM, Zavezad N (2013) Determination of lead residue levels in raw milk from different regions of Mashhad (north-east of Iran) by AAS method. Nutr Food Sci 43:324–329

  84. Nogawa K, Sakurai M, Ishizaki M, Kido T, Nakagawa H, Suwazono Y (2017) Threshold limit values of the cadmium concentration in rice in the development of itai-itai disease using benchmark dose analysis. J Appl Toxicol 37:962–966

  85. Noori N, Noudoost B, Hatami Nia M (2016) The assessment of lead pollution in milk collected from all dairy farms in Lorestan province. Iran Toxin Rev 35:196–200

  86. Norouzirad R, Gonazlez-Montana JR, Martinez-Pastor F, Hosseini H, Shahrouzian A, Khabazkhoob M, Malayeri FA, Bandani HM, Paknejad M, Foroughi-nia B, Moghaddam AF (2018) Lead and cadmium levels in raw bovine milk and dietary risk assessment in areas near petroleum extraction industries. Sci Total Environ 635:308–314

  87. Nutescu EA, Burnett A, Fanikos J, Spinler S, Wittkowsky A (2016) Erratum to: pharmacology of anticoagulants used in the treatment of venous thromboembolism. J Thromb Thrombolysis 42:296–311

  88. OEHHA (2009) Air toxics hot spots program technical support document for cancer potencies Appendix B Chemical-specific summaries of the information used to derive unit risk and cancer potency values Update 2011

  89. Ogabiela E, Udiba U, Adesina O, Hammuel C, Ade-Ajayi F, Yebpella G, Mmereole U, Abdullahi M (2011) Assessment of metal levels in fresh milk from cows grazed around Challawa industrial Estate of Kano. Nigeria J Basic Appl Sci Res 1:533–538

  90. Pepper I, Gerba C, Brusseau M (2012) Environmental and pollution science (pollution science series). Academic Press:212–232

  91. Pérez-Carrera AL, Arellano FE, Fernández-Cirelli A (2016) Concentration of trace elements in raw milk from cows in the southeast of Córdoba province. Argentina Dairy Sci Technol 96:591–602

  92. Phillips LJ, Moya J (2014) Exposure factors resources: contrasting EPA’s exposure factors handbook with international sources. J Expo Sci Env Epid 24:233

  93. Pilarczyk R, Wójcik J, Czerniak P, Sablik P, Pilarczyk B, Tomza-Marciniak A (2013) Concentrations of toxic heavy metals and trace elements in raw milk of Simmental and Holstein-Friesian cows from organic farm. Environ Monit Assess 185:8383–8392

  94. Qin L-Q, Wang X-P, Li W, Tong X, Tong W-J (2009) The minerals and heavy metals in cow’s milk from China and Japan. J Health Sci 55:300–305

  95. Qu X-Y, Zheng N, Zhou X-W, Li S-L, Wang J-Q, Zhang W-J (2018) Analysis and risk assessment of seven toxic element residues in raw bovine Milk in China. Biol Trace Elem Res 183:92–101

  96. Rahimi E (2013) Lead and cadmium concentrations in goat, cow, sheep, and buffalo milks from different regions of Iran. Food Chem 136:389–391

  97. Rahimi E, Behzadnia A (2011) Determination of mercury in fish (Otollithes ruber) and canned tuna fish in Khuzestan and Shiraz, Iran. World Appl Sci J 15:1553–1556

  98. Rahmani J, Fakhri Y, Shahsavani A, Bahmani Z, Urbina MA, Chirumbolo S, Keramati H, Moradi B, Bay A, Bjørklund G (2018) A systematic review and meta-analysis of metal concentrations in canned tuna fish in Iran and human health risk assessment. Food Chem Toxicol 118:753–765

  99. Ramezani Z, Khodayar MJ, Nazari Z, Hedayatifar R, Gilani A-a (2014) Cadmium and lead contents of rice (Oryza sativa) grown in Khuzestan, southwest of Iran. Jenta J Health Res 5:64–71

  100. Reilly C (1980) Metal contamination of food. Wiley Online Library

  101. Rezaei M, Dastjerdi HA, Jafari H, Farahi A, Shahabi A, Javdani H, Teimoory H, Yahyaei M, Malekirad AA (2014) Assessment of dairy products consumed on the Arakmarket as determined by heavy metal residues. Health 6:323

  102. Rubio M, Sigrist M, Encinas T, Baroni E, Coronel J, Boggio J, Beldomenico H (1998) Cadmium and lead levels in cow’s milk from a milking region in Santa Fe, Argentine. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 60:164–167

  103. Satarug S, Vesey DA, Gobe GC (2017) Current health risk assessment practice for dietary cadmium: data from different countries. Food Chem Toxicol 106:430–445

  104. Schoeters G, Hond ED, Zuurbier M, Naginiene R, Van den Hazel P, Stilianakis N, Ronchetti R, Koppe JG (2006) Cadmium and children: exposure and health effects. Acta Paediatr 95:50–54

  105. Shahbazi Y, Ahmadi F, Fakhari F (2016) Voltammetric determination of Pb, Cd, Zn and Se in milk and dairy products collected from Iran: an emphasis on permissible limits and risk assessment of exposure to heavy metals. Food Chem 192:1060–1067

  106. Shaheen N, Ahmed MK, Islam MS, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M, Tukun AB, Islam S, Rahim ATM (2016) Health risk assessment of trace elements via dietary intake of ‘non-piscine protein source’ food stuffs (meat, milk and egg) in Bangladesh. Environ Sci Pollut R 23:7794–7806

  107. Sobhanardakani S (2017) Tuna fish and common kilka: health risk assessment of metal pollution through consumption of canned fish in Iran. J Consum Prot Food Saf 12:157–163

  108. Sobhanardakani S (2018) Human health risk assessment of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn through consumption of raw and pasteurized cow’s milk. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 47:1172–1180

  109. Sobhanardakani S, Hosseini S, Miandare HK, Faizbakhsh R, Harsij M, Regenstein J (2017) Determination of Cd, Cu, Mn and Zn concentrations in Iranian Caspian Sea caviar of Acipenser persicus using anodic stripping voltammetry. Ira J Sci Technol 41:139–144

  110. Sobhanardakani S, Tayebi L, Hosseini SV (2018) Health risk assessment of arsenic and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Co, Pb, and Sn) through consumption of caviar of Acipenser persicus from southern Caspian Sea. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25:2664–2671

  111. Sobhanardakani S, Tizhosh M (2016) Determination of Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu contents in raw milk from Khorram-Abad dairies (in Persian). J Food Hyg 6:43–50

  112. Steenland K, Boffetta P (2000) Lead and cancer in humans: where are we now? Am J Ind Med 38:295–299

  113. Sultana MS, Rana S, Yamazaki S, Aono T, Yoshida S (2017) Health risk assessment for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic heavy metal exposures from vegetables and fruits of Bangladesh. Cogent Environ Sci 3:1291107

  114. Sutton AJ, Abrams KR, Jones DR (2001) An illustrated guide to the methods of meta-analysis. J Evalu Clin Pra 7:135–148

  115. Suturović Z, Kravić S, Milanović S, Đurović A, Brezo T (2014) Determination of heavy metals in milk and fermented milk products by potentiometric stripping analysis with constant inverse current in the analytical step. Food Chem 155:120–125

  116. Swarup D, Patra R, Naresh R, Kumar P, Shekhar P (2005) Blood lead levels in lactating cows reared around polluted localities; transfer of lead into milk. Sci Total Environ 347:106–110

  117. Szkup-Jablonska M, Karakiewicz B, Grochans E, Jurczak A, Nowak-Staz G, Rotter I, Prokopowicz A (2012) Effects of blood lead and cadmium levels on the functioning of children with behaviour disorders in the family environment. Ann Agric Environ Med 19

  118. Tajkarimi M, Ahmadi Faghih M, Poursoltani H, Salah Nejad A, Motallebi AA, Mahdavi H (2008) Lead residue levels in raw milk from different regions of Iran. Food Control 19:495–498

  119. Tarragó O, Substances, U.S.A.f.T, Registry D (2010) Lead toxicity. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

  120. Tchounwou PB, Yedjou CG, Patlolla AK, Sutton DJ (2012) Heavy metal toxicity and the environment, molecular, clinical and environmental toxicology. Springer, pp 133–164

  121. Temiz H, Soylu A (2012) Heavy metal concentrations in raw milk collected from different regions of Samsun, Turkey. Int J Dairy Technol 65:516–522

  122. Tizhoosh M, Tizhoosh HR (2016) The concentration of zinc, lead, cadmium and copper in raw milk production in industrial farms in Khorramabad, Iran. Int Proc Chem Biol Environ 93

  123. Tripathi R, Raghunath R, Sastry V, Krishnamoorthy T (1999) Daily intake of heavy metals by infants through milk and milk products. Sci Total Environ 227:229–235

  124. Wang Q, Zhao H, Chen J, Gu K, Zhang Y, Zhu Y, Zhou Y, Ye L (2009) Adverse health effects of lead exposure on children and exploration to internal lead indicator. Sci Total Environ 407:5986–5992

  125. WHO (2008) Principles and methods for the risk assessment of chemicals in food; Chapter 2: risk assessment and its role in risk analysis, Environmental health criteria 240

  126. Wikipedia (2019) Arak, Iran, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arak,_Iran

  127. Yaman M (2006) Comprehensive comparison of trace metal concentrations in cancerous and non-cancerous human tissues. Curr Med Chem 13:2513–2525

  128. Zain SM, Behkami S, Bakirdere S, Koki IB (2016) Milk authentication and discrimination via metal content clustering—a case of comparing milk from Malaysia and selected countries of the world. Food Control 66:306–314

  129. Zheng N, Wang Q, Zhang X, Zheng D, Zhang Z, Zhang S (2007) Population health risk due to dietary intake of heavy metals in the industrial area of Huludao city. China Sci Total Environ 387:96–104

  130. Ziarati P, Shirkhan F, Mostafidi M, Tamaskoni Zahedi M (2018) An overview of the heavy metal contamination in milk and dairy products. Acta Pharm Sin B 2:8–21

Download references


The study is financially supported by student research committee, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (code 1398/20816).

Author information

Correspondence to Fatemeh Mohammadi-Nasrabadi or Hedayat Hoseini.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible Editor: Philippe Garrigues

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Abedi, A., Nasseri, E., Esfarjani, F. et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of lead and cadmium concentrations in cow milk in Iran and human health risk assessment. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-07989-w

Download citation


  • Cadmium
  • Carcinogenic risk
  • Cow’s milk
  • Iran
  • Lead
  • Non-carcinogenic risk