Publisher: Chemical Society of Nigeria

Trace Metals Screening of Spinach (AMARANTHUS CADATUS), Pumpkin (TELFARIA OCCIDENTALIS) and Tomatoes Lycopersicon Spp) From Irrigated Farmlands Along The Bank of River Benue, Markurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

S. Y. Aboho, G. B. Asaar, E. O. Ekanem
KEYWORDS: Spinach, Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Trace Metals, Farmland, River Benue, Solid Waste.


The concentration in (mgkg-1) of Cd, Cr and Pb were determined in spinach, pumpkin and tomatoes using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (model VGP210, Bulk Scientific). A total of 32 samples each of spinach, pumpkin and tomatoes were collected from exposed and controlled sites for analysis. The trace metals Cd, Cr and Pb concentrations in the vegetables were found to be 0.73± 0.15 mgkg-1, 10.79± 1.26 mgkg-1 and 12. 20± 2.99 mgkg-1 in spinach, 0.88± 0.05 mgkg-1, 7. 05± 1.27mgkg-1 and 9. 43±1.75mgkg-1 in pumpkin and 7.05± 0.12mgkg-1, 9. 79± 1.25mgkg-1 and 11. 17± 2.87 mgkg-1 in tomatoes respectively. While trace metal concentrations of the vegetables from the control site was 0.62± 0.12 mgkg-1, 8.79± 1.20mgkg-1 and 10. 17± 1.87 mgkg-1 in spinach, 0.64±0.33 mgkg-1, 4.32±1.26mgkg-1 and 3.78±1.65mgkg-1 in pumpkin and 2.52± 0.13mgkg-1, 3.78± 1.35mgkg-1 and 6.17± 0.12 mgkg-1 in tomatoes respectively. The relative abundance of the trace metals in the spinach and tomatoe samples (exposed and controlled) analysed followed the sequence Pb>Cr>Cd while that in pumpkin was Pb>Cd>Cr. The trace metal values in both exposed and controlled samples were higher than the FAO, WHO/EU and FAO/WHO allowable limits. However, the values for Pb and Cd were below the ICRCL values for Pb (1 – 50 mgkg-1) and Cd (0 – 1 mgkg-1). Thus the higher values of these trace metals in spinach, pumpkin and tomatoes put the consumers of these vegetables at risk, even when these values have not reached the phytotoxic levels.

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