Evaluation of Heavy Metals in Canned Meat and Fish Sold in Calabar, Nigeria.
Keywords: Heavy metals, canned meat, canned fish, public health.
AbstractAbstract: The evaluation of heavy metals in canned meat and fish foods sold in Calabar, Nigeria was investigated. Ten samples from six different brands of canned meat and fish sold in Calabar were obtained from randomly selected markets and grocery shops. Each of the different sample types were then pooled together brand-wise and then evaluated for heavy metal deposits; lead, Mercury, Arsenic and cadmium, using standard techniques. Lead level in canned fish (0.988mg/kg), (0.816mg/kg) in meat were significantly higher (P<0.05) than WHO standard of 0.5mg/kg, and 0.1mg/kg respectively and also higher than the levels of mercury, arsenic and cadmium. The amount of cadmium (<0.193mg/kg; <0.117mg/kg), arsenic (<0.001mg/kg; < 0.001mg/kg) and that of mercury (<0.001 mg/kg;<0.001mg/kg) for fish and meat were less than the maximum WHO recommended daily intake. Though the levels of cadmium found in the fish was significantly (P<0.05) higher than
that on canned meat. These values were irrelevant since they were below WHO standards. The result showed that canned fish and meat had invariably less level of cadmium, arsenic and mercury and a significantly high (P<0.05) deposit of lead. This significant level of lead in the canned flesh food is very alarming as lead poisoning is a major public health concern that can result in serious damage to brains, kidneys nervous system and red blood cells. Therefore canned flesh food products imported into the country though low in other heavy metals is not fit for human consumption due to its high lead content, which has a major public health implication.
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