Health Risk Assessment of Arsenic and Cadmium Exposure from Traditional Medicine Consumption
Keywords:Arsenic, Cadmium, Traditional medicine, Health risk assessment
Traditional medicine is an alternative for treating diseases. However, consumption of contaminated medicines can cause health effects. This research aimed to analyze the amount of arsenic and cadmium in traditional medicines and to assess health risks from the consumption. The study was conducted in 10 samples for each type of packaged traditional medicine, including Yahom, turmeric, and Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees analyzed by using ICP-OES (Inductively Couple Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer). In addition, consumption information was obtained by questionnaires from 288 volunteers living in Talat Sub-district, Mueang District, Surat Thani Province. The results show the highest levels of arsenic in Yahom followed by turmeric, and Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees, respectively. On the other hand, the levels of cadmium in the 3 types of traditional medicine were not significantly different. Nevertheless, the mean levels of arsenic and cadmium in the 3 types of medicine did not exceed the national standard for herbal products of 4 and 0.3 mg/kg, respectively. Besides, health risks from exposure to arsenic and turmeric in 48% and 1.9% of peoples who consumed Yahom and turmeric, respectively, and 60.0% and 45.5% of peoples who consumed Yahom-turmeric and Yahom-Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees were greater than the acceptable level (Health index; HI > 1). Based on the results of this study, even though the amount of arsenic and cadmium did not exceed the standard values, different consumption behaviors in each individual may result in increased health risk.
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