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Heavy metals content in the stem bark of <i>Detarium microcarpum</i> determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer

Teddy Ehianeta
Chimezie Anyakora
Bola Mustapha


Detarium microcarpum is a member of the Caesalpinaceae sub-family and Leguminosae family of the flowering plants. Beneficial effects of natural products in healthcare delivery in Africa cannot be over emphasized. One of the main concerns with these plant products is the level of heavy metals. The heavy metal analysis was carried out on the stem bark of D. microcarpum using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The heavy metals screened for include: lead, chromium, manganese, zinc and iron. The levels of manganese, zinc and iron were 13.91, 4.89 and 21.89 mg/L respectively. These heavy metals were found to be present in the stem bark of D. microcarpum at concentration levels higher than tolerable upper intake limits. There is therefore some health implication when ingested. Lead and chromium were not detected in the study.

Key words: Detarium microcarpum, metal, contaminants.