Incidence of Lead and Cadmium in Vegetables and Their Potential Health Risks to Consumers in Gashua, Yobe, Nigeria
Ingestion of vegetables is a major route through which heavy metals enter the human body. A large population in the study area have suffered, died or are still suffering from kidney problems, however, there are no literature on the sources and causes of the disease. This study was therefore aimed at investigating the levels of two heavy metal toxins; Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb) in the vegetables grown/consumed in Gashua and the potential health risks on the consumers. Concentrations of the toxins were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer [ICP-MS (7500 series)]. The concentrations of Pb ranged from 1.32±0.06 µg/g to 115.9±5.43µg/g and Cd ranged from 0.29±0.65 µg/g to 4.94±0.98 µg/g. The levels of the metals found in this study were compared with values reported for similar vegetables in literature and recommended limits in foods established by the NAFDAC (National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control) Nigeria, the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization/ Food and Agricultural Organization (WHO/FAO). The levels of heavy metals, the target hazard quotient (THQ) and the total hazard index (THI) values suggest health risks to the consumers of the vegetables.
Index Terms—Cadmium, lead, target hazard index, total hazard index.