Author(s): Obi E, Akunyili DN, Ekpo B, Orisakwe OE
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Abstract The uses of herbal products are not regulated in Nigeria and in many low-income countries and are freely available to everyone. The safety of these herbal medicines is poorly understood. This study characterizes the content of cadmium, copper, iron, nickel, selenium, zinc, lead and mercury in a random sample of Nigerian traditional products. Ready-to-use herbal products were purchased from the open market and digested using HNO3.The heavy metal content of the digested filtrate was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry Uni-cam Model 929. The result showed that 100\% of the samples contained elevated amounts of heavy metals. These data alert us to the possibility of heavy metal toxicity from herbal products in Nigeria. The public health hazards from ingestion of herbal medicines should be identified and disclosed by in-depth risk assessment studies.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology