Heavy metal contamination of some vegetables and spices in Nigeria

  • CMA Iwegbue
  • CL Overah
  • JK Ebigwai
  • SO Nwozo
  • GE Nwajei
  • O Eguavoen


Analytical results are presented for the determination of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe and Zn contents in some species of fresh vegetables and spices (Abelmoschus esculentus, Amarathus spinosis, Cucumis sativa, Talinium
triangulare, Daucus carrota, Phaseolus vulgaris, Vernonia amygdalina, Piper nigrum, Lycopersicon esculentum, Telfaria occidentalis, Cochorus olitorius, Allium cepa, Brassica oleraca Tephrosia densiflora, Capsicum annum, Citrullus vulgaris, Tetrapleura tetraptera, Anisophylea spp Piper guineensis, Mynstica fragrans, Aframomum melegueta and Allium sativum ) collected from markets in Warri and its environs (Nigeria) between February to May, 2007. The mean concentrations of these elements in vegetables and spices ranged from 0.01-11.5 mg.kg-1 for Pb; 0.01-0.2 mgkg-1 for Cu; 0.17-4.2 mg.kg-1 for Cd, 0.01 mg.kg-1 for Cr; 0.01-16.8 mg.kg-1 for Ni; 30-44.02 mg.kg-1 for Zn; 4.08-310.66 mg.kg-1 for Fe. The results indicate that some of the vegetables and spices were contaminated with Cd and Pb and Ni. More than 80% of the examined samples had concentrations of these metals below statutory safe limits.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631