A STUDY ON HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METALS THROUGH INTAKE OF AGRICULTURAL FOOD CROPS IN DISTRICT MARDAN, PAKISTAN

Main Article Content

Akbar Ali Khan
Hizbullah Khan
Kifayatullah Khan
Said Akbar Khan
Shahid Iqbal
Muhammad Afnan
Muhammad Adnan

Keywords

Abstract

This study investigated the concentrations of different selected heavy metals like Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn) in farming products (grains and vegetables), and their probable health impacts in district Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan. Locally grown food crops containing grains (wheat, maize, rice) and vegetables (lady finger, turnip, brinjil, tomato, bitter gourd, eddoe, potato) and human blood samples were collected haphazardly from the five selected locations named Khazana dheri, Par Hoti, Gujjar Ghari, Katlang and Takht Bhai of the area.


The samples were checked for the selected heavy metals on an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS). The findings were also matched with their acceptable parameters issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) and State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). The concentrations have been detected in a descending sequence of Mn > Cu > Ni > Zn >Pb > Cr > Cd and Zn > Cr > Ni > Mn > Cu > Pb > Cd in grains and vegetables respectively. Moreover, Cd was observed beyond its safe limits in 90 % of all samples. Also, the Pb noted above its safe limits by FAO, 2001 but in limits set by SEPA, 2005. Moreover, the Chronic Daily Intake (CDI) of heavy metals by grains (3.48E-03) was enough higher than that of vegetables (1.84E-03). Additionally, the children were found more vulnerable to metal toxicity as they were recorded with a higher CDI of 2.80E-03 as compared to that of adults’ CDI of 1.86E-03.


Also, the potential threats to the residents (adults and children) were noted as Zn > Cr > Mn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cd and Zn > Cr > Cu > Ni > Mn > Pb > Cd respectively. In the end, the accumulative Hazard Index (HI) via the ingestion of selected food items was also measured. The combined Health Risk Indexes (HRIs) of each metal were obtained as Cd > Pb > Ni > Cu > Mn > Zn > Cr. With HI of grains (29.5%) and vegetables (28.6%). The cumulative HI value was valued as 4.46E+00 which is far greater than 1 indicating that although the individual HRI values were < 1 but the combined influence of all the selected heavy metals may probably induce serious health risks in people of the area.

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