RK Adebayo, UF Hassan, HM Adamu, HF Hassan, Haruna Baba, DA Ajiya
Scarcity of irrigation water can affect human health and economic development. Increase in industrial activities has led to the discharge of wastewater in large quantities which is used for the cultivation of vegetables in urban areas due to unavailability of clean water. Health problems in humans arise as a result of the consumption of vegetables contaminated with heavy metals. The health risk assessment of heavy metals through consumption of contaminated spinach (Amarantus caudatus) grown with wastewater of Railway Quarters was evaluated. The results obtained from the study area revealed that the wastewater and spinach respectively collected from Railway Quarters contain some amount of heavy metals. The concentrations (µg/cm3) of cadmium (0.01), chromium (0.01), manganese (0.05), nickel (0.03) and lead (0.02) in the wastewater studied are within the threshold limits of SON (2002, 2007), Indian standard limits, NAFDAC (2001), WHO (2011) and FAO (1985). The concentration of the observed copper (0.10 µg/cm3) exceeded the recommended limits set by Indian Standard (0.05 µg/cm3). The levels (mg/kg or µg/g) of cadmium (1.00), chromium (1.65), copper (7.70), manganese (12.65) and nickel (7.70) in spinach sample are all within the permissible limits set by various standard regulatory organizations, but the level of lead (6.60) assayed is far greater than the permissible and safe limit (2.50) of Indian Standard. The observed Health Risk Index (HRI) of cadmium (0.3000), chromium (0.0003), copper (0.2150), manganese (0.1240), nickel (0.1250) and lead (0.5000) are all less than 1.0000 which signifies that the spinach sample cultivated in Railway irrigation farm are relatively safe for human consumption.
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