Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Absorption and adsorption of benzene by plants following exposure during the final part of the growth cycle. - FS2149

A range of crop species, to be determined by cuticular characteristics, that are important for human consumption will be exposed to known atmospheric concentrations of benzene (a known carcinogen) under controlled environment conditions. Subsequently edible plant tissues will be analysed by MAFF Food Science Labs at NOrwich for adsorbed and absorbed benzene. This will generate data on deposition velocities of benzene to crops which will be related to ambient concentrations, thereby generating quantitive information as to the likely contamination of foods. THe influence of climatic factors on benzene deposition will also be determined.
1. To design and conduct experiments that will provide a quantitative measure of the amount of benzene that is absorbed and adsorbed by plants grown in a controlled atmosphere and which remains in a chemically unchanged form. 2. To conduct experiments with a range of crop types important in UK diet with a range of cuticular characteristics to determine benzene deposition close to maturity.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1996

Cost: £66,140
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Imperial College,Dept. of Biology.