Assessing the levels of Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu in biscuits and home-made snacks obtained from vendors in two tertiary institutions in Lagos, Nigeria
The modern day busy schedule of an average individual in Nigeria has made the consumption of snacks inevitable. This study assessed the concentrations of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in some common snacks sold in two tertiary institutions in Lagos, Nigeria, using Perkin AAS Elmer model 460. The mean levels of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd found in plantain chips obtained from the University of Lagos main campus were 2.15 ± 0.13, 0.27 ± 0.03, 0.83 ± 0.04 and 0.10 ± 0.03 mg/kg respectively, while the mean levels of the same metals found in plantain chips obtained from Yaba College of Technology were 1.77 ± 0.57, 0.11 ± 0.04, 1.23 ± 0.61 and 0.08 ± 0.06 mg/kg respectively. Independent-samples t-test analysis revealed that the differences between the mean metal levels in snacks obtained from the two institutions were not significant (P > 0.05). Though the levels of most metals in snacks obtained from the two institutions were within the upper limits of the range specified by the World Health Organization, the consumption of snacks with such metal loads over a long period of time may result in metal accumulation in the body beyond tolerable limit. These findings may be a reflection of what obtains in other educational institutions in the country. The authorities of tertiary institutions and other levels of education in Nigeria are therefore called upon to strengthen and widen their internal control mechanisms to guarantee the quality and safety of snacks sold to students and other people on their campuses.
Keywords: Contaminants, Contamination, FAO/WHO, food, snacks, campuses