Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals Associated with Terminalia catappa Fruit Consumption Obtained from an Automobile Workshop Cluster in Nsukka, Nigeria

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Ekene John Nweze
Chibuike Samuel Ubani
Emmanuel Sunday Okeke*
Timothy Prince Chidike Ezeorba
Amarachuwku Vivian Arazu


The indiscriminate disposal of wastes generated from automobile workshops has contributed immensely to the accumulation of heavy metals within the immediate environment. Food security and human health are threatened as edible plants and fruits take up these metals. This study investigated the health risk assessment associated with Terminalia catappa fruit consumption. Soil and Terminalia catappa plant parts (roots, stems, shoots and fruit) from Nsukka automobile workshop were analyzed for As, Cr, Ni, Cu. Pb, Zn, Cd, and Fe. This was done using an atomic absorption spectrometer after acid digestion. The average concentration of As, Cr, Ni, Cu. Pb, Zn, Cd, and Fe in the fruit were 1.09±0.49, 1.43±0.74, 1.08±0.45, 19.31±6.32, 4.21±1.73, 11.23±1.45, 1.87±0.17 and 28.35±4.22 mg/kg, respectively. Arsenic and cadmium had a relatively higher BCF (As - 0.66, Cd - 1.15), TF (As - 0.92 and Cd - 0.83) and BAF (As - 0.47 and Cd - 0.45) when compared to other investigated metals. The HQ obtained for Cd was the highest (0.895), while the THI was 1.869. The heavy metal concentration in fruit exceeded the acceptable permissible limits stipulated by USEPA, WHO and FAO. From the risk assessment, it was concluded that cadmium was the major contributing factor associated with developing health hazards and carcinogenic risk. Therefore, it is fitting to notify the target population who consume tropical almonds from Nsukka automobile workshop how unsafe eating the fruit can be.

Keywords: automobile workshop; heavy metals; risk assessments; Terminalia catappa; carcinogenic risks

*Corresponding author: Tel.: +2348035277554





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