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Original Articles Open Access
Cassava (manihot esculanta) and water cocoyam (colocasia esculenta) have gained increased importance in the diets of majority of people in developing countries such as Ghana and for that matter the inhabitants of some mining communities. These root tuber crops absorb or uptake toxic chemicals from the soil thereby exposing the people who feed on them to the harmful effects of arsenic, cadmium, cyanide and mercury. The levels of arsenic, cadmium, cyanide and mercury in cassava and water cocoyam of a mined land and a reclaimed mine land were measured in this study. Cassava and water cocoyam samples were obtained from Tarkwa Goldmine areas, precisely from both mined land and demonstrations (reclaimed old mined land) farms and analysed for arsenic, cadmium, cyanide and mercury using various standard analytical methods. Most of the heavy metal and cyanide levels measured were slightly higher than the WHO acceptable limits. The result of the analysis showed that the reclaimed mine land had relatively lower levels of arsenic, cadmium, cyanide and mercury in the food crops analysed than the mined lands. As a result, though not equally safe, the inhabitants should be encouraged to use the reclaimed mined land for farming.
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Author(s): Essumang D K
Cassava, water cocoyam, Manihot esculanta, colocasia esculenta, Galamsey, Chemical Comparative study