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Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology
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  • Research Article   
  • J Environment Analytic Toxicol 2012, Vol 2(3): 136
  • DOI: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000136

Evaluation of Potential Dietary Toxicity of Heavy Metals of Vegetables

Orish Ebere Orisakwe1*, Nduka John Kanayochukwu2, Amadi Cecilia Nwadiuto1, Dike Daniel3 and Obialor Onyinyechi3
1Toxicology Unit, Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Research Unit, Pure and Industrial Chemistry Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Awka Anambra State, Nigeria
3Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Science, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author : Orish Ebere Orisakwe, Toxicology Unit, Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Mar 03, 2012 / Accepted Date: Mar 29, 2012 / Published Date: Mar 31, 2012


Introduction: Consumers are exposed to a diversity of chemicals in all areas of life. Air, water, soil and food are all unavoidable components of the human environment. Each of those elements influences the quality of human life, and each of them may be contaminated.
Objective: Levels of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and nickel (Ni) in vegetables and soils from Ohaji, Umuagwo and Owerri in southern Nigeria were determined and the potential health risks assessed.
Methods: Commonly grown vegetables, fruits and food crops were collected from three different sites in southern Nigeria, washed, oven-dried in a hot air oven at 70–80°C for 24 h. Dried samples were powdered using pestle and mortar and sieved through muslin cloth. Samples (0.5 g each) were digested with perchloric acid and nitric acid (1:4) solution. The presence of lead, cadmium and nickel were analyzed in samples using the Unicam Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) Model 929.
Results: Concentrations of Cd, Ni and Pb in Ohaji exceeded maximum allowable concentrations for agricultural soil. Cadmium, Ni, and Pb in vegetables were highest in Murraya koenigii, Piper guineense and Amaranthus viridis Linn, respectively. The estimated yearly intake of Pb, Cd and Ni in commonly consumed vegetables, Green leaf (Amaranthus viridis), fluted pumpkin (Telfaria occidetalis) and Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) in Nigeria were calculated to be 1,210, 150 and 456, respectively.
Conclusion: Taken together it might be concluded that these vegetables may contribute to the body burden of heavy metals especially lead.

Keywords: Environmental toxicology; Nigeria; Risk assessment

Citation: Orisakwe OE, Nduka JK, Amadi CN, Dike D,Obialor OO (2012) Evaluation of Potential Dietary Toxicity of Heavy Metals of Vegetables. J Environment Analytic Toxicol 2: 136. Doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000136

Copyright: © 2012 Orisakwe OE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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