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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341954

Research Project: Enhancing the Competitiveness of U.S. Peanuts and Peanut-based Cropping Systems

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Title: Evaluating Concentrations of Heavy Metals in the U.S. Peanut Crop in the Presence of Detection Limits

Author
item Blair, Benjamin - Columbus State University
item Lamb, Marshall

Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The concentration of metals and pesticides in the United States peanut crop was evaluated during the 2013-2015 crop years. Samples for the analysis were randomly selected during farmer stock peanut grading from peanut buying points geographically located in all major peanut producing regions and sent to an independent laboratory for testing. Advanced statistical techniques were utilized to address censored data to test results below detection limits and the probabilities that a random sample from the population testing below the detection limit were estimated. Concentrations were found to be low compared to health standards and were consistent across years.

Technical Abstract: The concentration of mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic along with glyphosate and an extensive array of pesticides in the U.S. peanut crop was assessed for crop years 2013-2015. Samples were randomly selected from various buying points during the grading process. Samples were selected from the three major growing regions in order to attain a representative sample of U.S. peanut production. Samples were sent to an independent laboratory for testing. Appropriate statistical techniques were used to account for censored data due to test results below detection limits. Descriptive statistics and confidence intervals for the population mean concentration are presented where possible. For heavily censored data, the probability of a random sample from the population testing below the detection limit is estimated. Overall, concentrations were found to be low relative to health standards and consistent across crop years.