Impact of elements released by La Palma eruption on banana agriculture



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Impact of elements released by La Palma eruption on banana agriculture

The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, and consequent the poorest, caused 3,000 houses to be razed to the ground with an estimated total damage close to a billion euros.

Begun on 19 September, the eruption left walls of solidified lava up to 70 meters high. The impact of the eruption also had consequences on agriculture, especially on banana agriculture, as explained by the study: Impact of chemical elements released by the volcanic eruption of La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain) on banana agriculture and European consumers, published on the Chemosphere.

"The recent volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma has aroused the concern of banana producers and consumers, given that in its area of ​​influence there are thousands of hectares of banana plantations with an annual production of about 100 million kilos for export are one of the main natural sources of heavy metal contamination.

Impact of elements released by La Palma eruption on banana agriculture

We sampled bananas from the affected area and determined the concentrations of 50 elements (Ag, Al, As, Au, Ba, Be, Bi, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cu , Cu, Dy, Er, Eu, Fe, Ga, Gd, Hg, Ho, In, La, Lu, Mn, Mo, Nb, Nd, Ni, Os, Pb, Pd, Pm, Pr, Pt, Sb, Sc , Se, Sm, Sn, Sr, Ta, Tb, Th, Ti, Tl, Tm, U, Y, Yb and Zn).

After the washout, bananas have elevated levels of Fe, Al, Ti, V, Ba, Pb, most of the rare earth elements, Mo, and Co. In all cases, except Mo, the elevation is much higher in the peel than in the flesh. In the case of Mo, the elevation in banana flesh would translate into a higher nutritional intake of this trace element, which could represent up to 35% of the daily nutritional requirements.

Exposure to toxic or potentially toxic elements, does not represent a health risk, since would not exceed 5% of the tolerable daily intake, even in the worst-case scenario."