Human health risk assessment of essential and non-essential metals in vegetables (Jute Mallow, Onions, Celosia, Spinach and Tomatoes) from Ogun, Lagos and Oyo states, southwestern Nigeria

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-021-00217-x
First Page: 390
Last Page: 403
Views: 772

Keywords: Vegetables, Health effects, Cancer, Metals, Risk


Vegetables are important sources of essential minerals and vitamins required for healthy living. However, contamination of vegetables with inorganic and organic substances may pose severe or irreversible health risk. The present study assessed the health risk of metals in vegetables from three states in southwestern Nigeria. A total of 180 vegetable samples (Jute Mallow, Onions, Celosia, Spinach and Tomatoes) were collected and analyzed for essential {copper (Cu), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn)}, and nonessential {cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb)} metals using the standard method. The health risk assessment was evaluated for hazard quotient (HQ), hazard index (HI) and cancer risk (CR). Results showed the highest concentrations of Fe in vegetable samples ranging from 4.9 mg kg−1 in jute mallow from Ogun to 558 mg kg−1 in spinach from Lagos. The spinach samples were more enriched in Fe and Zn than any other vegetables. The abundance pattern of metals in vegetables followed the order of Fe > Zn > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd. The health risk assessment study revealed HQ and HI of metals greater than 1.0 in many vegetable samples indicating non-carcinogenic adverse health effects. The average CR values for Cd and Ni in vegetables were generally higher than the acceptable limit of 1.0 × 10–4, while the mean CR data for Pb were greater than the priority limit of 1.0 × 10–6. These CR values suggested possible cancer development through consumption of vegetables from the study area.

Vegetables, Health effects, Cancer, Metals, Risk

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The authors acknowledge the laboratory assistance of Mrs. E.O. Sorinola of the Department of Environmental Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and Mr. S.A. Omosuli of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan. The anonymous reviewers are kindly acknowledged for their constructive criticism.

Author Information

Taiwo Adewale M.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Adekola Mukaila B.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Olatunde Kofoworola A.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Abdullahi Karimat L.
Department of Chemistry, Baze University, Abuja, Nigeria

Ogunkoya Patricia K.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Lawal Ebunoluwa R.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Adenekan Al-Amin
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Avan Osayande J.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Jimoh Abibat O.
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Oladimeji Gbolahan
Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria