Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia

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Health risk assessment of heavy metals via consumption of spinach vegetable grown in Elalla River

F. Gebreyohannes, A. Gebrekidan


Water pollution with heavy metals due to discharge of untreated domestic wastes and surface runoff to the rivers is a major threat for human health that consumes vegetables grown with the polluted river. The present study aimed to examine the contamination of heavy metals through the health risk assessment via the consumption of spinach vegetable grown by the irrigation of Elalla River. Water from Elalla River, soil and spinach were analyzed for Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cr and Cd using FAAS. Based on the elements analyzed, TF, DIM and HRI were calculated. The elements Cr (0.18-0.60) and Cd (0.021-0.023) in water samples (mg/L), Zn (316.10-517.86) and Cd (16.00-16.80) in soil samples(mg/kg); and Fe (483.38-612.24), Zn (109.86-219.72), Pb (2.56-3.97), Cr (8.42-13.45) and Cd (1.62-1.91) in spinach (mg/kg) were exceeded the permissible limits set by FAO and Ewers and Weigert. The TF calculated were lower for all metals except for Pb (2.832). Although the HRI values of all studied heavy metals were found to be < 1, the values for Cd and Pb were higher indicating alarming condition for the long term use of spinach in the studied area. Therefore, regular monitoring of heavy metals is essential to prevent excessive build up in the food chain and prevent serious health risk of population.


KEY WORDS: Vegetables, Metal accumulation, Daily intake of metals, Health risk index, Human health


Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2018, 32(1), 65-75

AJOL African Journals Online