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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 381-383

Determination of Cadmium in Organic and Non-Organic Lettuce Using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)

Keith Kostecka* and Bryce Wolfe

Science and Mathematics Department, Columbia College – Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605-1996,
Received April 28, 2010. Accepted June 17, 2010.

Published: 12 December 2010

Abstract. Cadmium is a heavy metal that, though it has many everyday uses, is toxic to a variety of tissues within the human body. It is commonly found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce at levels ranging from 30–150 PPB. Our study looked to see if cadmium levels were different in butterhead and romaine lettuce grown organically and non-organically. Samples of each type of lettuce were prepared according to Stafilov’s procedure and subsequently analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Results indicated that there was no difference between organically and non-organically grown lettuce; interestingly enough, butterhead lettuce had a higher cadmium content than romaine lettuce.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; instrumental analysis; atomic absorption spectroscopy

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (115 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Data for each lettuce type and method grown and repeatability studies are provided in Tables 2 to 9 (9 KB)

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