In 1993–94 we determined the content of Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, Zn and other trace elements in essential oils and plant extracts from the genera Rosa, Lavandula, Mentha, Salvia, Ocimum, Foeniculum, Coriandrum, Anethum, Hyssopus and Rhus, produced in Bulgaria.
In our investigation we used and compared the results obtained from Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption (GFAA) and Inductively Plasma (ICP) techniques.
On the other hand the heavy metal content in oils from different regions were compared to heavy metal content in some oils obtained from species grown on heavily polluted soils and under severe atmospheric pollution.
Results, obtained from the two apparatuses were very similar.
We found that the concentration of the most hazardous heavy metals in all of the tested oils and plant extracts was very low, near the detection limits of the used apparatuses.
It was concluded that most of the essential oil and medicinal crops could be successfully grown on heavy metal polluted soils and under atmospheric pollution as substitutes for some other edible crops.