Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

SFP > SFP Volume 3 > Heavy Metal Contamination of Selected Vegetables...
< Back to Volume

Heavy Metal Contamination of Selected Vegetables from Crude Oil and Non Crude Oil-Producing States in Nigeria: A Comparative Study

Full Text PDF


The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the heavy metal (HM) concentrations of selected vegetables harvested from crude oil-producing Rivers State and non-oil-producing Enugu State in Nigeria. Four vegetables; Telfaria occidentialis, Talinum triangulare, Ocimium gratissimum, and Murraya koenigii, were obtained from local farms in local government areas (LGAs) selected, each from the 3 senatorial zones in each state. The chemical analysis in mg/100g of the heavy metals (HMs) was conducted using standard methods. There mean values varied in the order: lead (Pb) > cadmium (Cd) > mercury (Hg) in mg/100g. Vegetable samples harvested from Rivers State had the highest toxicity level for both Pb (0.19 to 0.34) and Hg (0.01 to 0.03), while samples harvested from Enugu State had the highest toxicity level for Cd (0.07 to 0.25). The mean Pb contents for Ocimium gratissimum (0.27) and Talinum triangulare (0.26), harvested from Rivers States were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than their counterparts harvested from Enugu State (0.19 and 0.21, respectively). Mercury had the least mean value than Pb and Cd in all the locations. All the vegetables from all the localities in this study had toxic levels of HM much above the FAO/WHO acceptable limits; 0.03 mg/100g for Pb, and 0.02 mg/100g for Cd in foods and 0.0001 mg/100g for Hg in mineral water. It can therefore be said that the public health importance for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may equally mean increased HM consumption and bioaccumulation for the population in Rivers and Enugu States.


Sustainable Food Production (Volume 3)
M.A. Okonkwo et al., "Heavy Metal Contamination of Selected Vegetables from Crude Oil and Non Crude Oil-Producing States in Nigeria: A Comparative Study", Sustainable Food Production, Vol. 3, pp. 1-15, 2018
Online since:
November 2018

[1] S. Zhen-Guo et al., Lead Phytoextraction from contaminated soil with highbiomass plant species, Journal of Environmental Quality. 31 (2002) 1893-(1900).

[2] A.K. Bhattacharya, S.N. Mandal, S.K. Das, Heavy metals accumulation in water, sediment and tissues of different edible fishes in upper stretch of gangetic West Bengal, Trends in Applied Science Research. 3 (2008) 61–68.


[3] L.I.N. Ezemonye, M.O. Kadiri, Biorestoration of the Aquatic Ecosystem: The African perspective, Environmental Review. 3(1) (2000) 137–147.

[4] USEPA. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS) Development of Risk-Based Preliminary Remediation Goals, Volume I, Human Health Evaluation Manual, (Part B). EPA/540/R-92/003. Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1991, 1-12.

[5] A. Adefris, Heavy Metal toxicity Clinical, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kings County Hospital Center, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, 2015, pp.23-31.

[6] A. Galanis, A. Karapetsas, R. Sandaltzopoulos, Metal-induced carcinogenesis, oxidative stress and hypoxia signaling, Mutat. Res. 674(1-2) (2009) 31–35.


[7] P. Koedrith, Y.R. Seo, Advances in carcinogenic metal toxicity and potential molecular markers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12(12) (2011) 9576–9595.


[8] S. Malkoç, Street dust pollution of some metals along Eskisehir urban roads, Turkey, (2011).

[9] S. Khan et al., Health risk of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with waste water in Beijing, China, Environmental Pollution. 152 (3) (2008) 686–692.


[10] F. M. Marshall et al., Contaminated Irrigation Water and Food Safety for the Urban and Peri-urban Poor. Appropriate Measures for Monitoring and Control from Field Research in India and Zambia, University of Sussex, (2007).

[11] C.M.A. Ademoroti, Levels of trace heavy metals on bark and fruit of trees in Benin city, Nigeria, International Journal of Environmental Pollution. 4 (1996) 241-253.


[12] A.A. Amusan, P.V. Ige, R. Oluwale. Preliminary investigation on the use of municipal waste dump for farming, in: The 25th Annual Conference of Soil Science Society of Nigeria, Nov. 21-25, Benin City, Nigeria, 1999, pp.1-34.

[13] O. Otitoju et al., Heavy metal contamination of Green leaf vegetable Gardens in Itam Road Construction site in Uyo, Nigeria, Research Journal of Environmental Earth Science. 4(4) (2012) 371–375.

[14] L. Jarup, Hazards of heavy metal contamination. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK. British Medical Bulletin. 68 (2003) 167–182.


[15] M. Liu et al., Distribution and ecological assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of the East Lake, China, Ecotoxicology. 23(1) (2014) 92-101.

[16] A. Galadima, Z.N. Garba, Recent Issues in Environmental Science. Including incidences and reports from Nigeria,. Lap Lambert Academic Publishers, Germany, (2012).

[17] M.A. Elbagermi, H.G.M. Edwards, A.I. Alajtal, Monitoring of Heavy Metal Content in Fruits and Vegetables Collected from Production and Market Sites in the Misurata Area of Libya, ISRN Analytical Chemistry. 2012 (2012) ID 827645.


[18] O.E. Orisakwe, et al., Heavy metals health risk assessment for population via consumption of food crops and fruits in Owerri, South Eastern, Nig. Chem. Cen. J. 6(1) (2012) 77-82.

[19] I.A. Kalagbor, K. Opusunju, A comparison study of dry and wet ashing methods used for the assessment of concentration of five heavy metals in three vegetables from Rivers State, Nigeria, Int. Res. J. Public Environ. Health. 2(2) (2015) 16-22.

[20] AOAC, Association of Official Analytical Chemists Official Method, 18th edition, Washington D.C. AOAC. 17th edn., official method 999.11 Determination of Lead, Cadmium, Copper, Iron and Zinc in Foods Atomic Absorption Spectrohotometry after Dry Ashing, (2000).


[21] T. Jang et al., Growth Characteristics and Physiological Functionality of Yeasts in Pear Marc Extracts, Mycobiology. 39(3) (2011) 170-173.


[22] A.P. Neal, T.R. Guilarte, Mechanisms of Heavy Metal Neurotoxicity: Lead and Manganese, Drug Metabolism and Toxicology. S5 (2012) 1-8.

[23] Codex Alimentarius Commission, Revised Codex Standard for Honey Codex Stan Rev. 2 (2001),, Codex Standard, Vol. 12. (2001), pp.1-7.


[24] FAO, Water quality for agriculture, R.S. Ayers, D.W. Westcot, FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 29, Rev. 1. FAO, Rome, 1985, 174 p.

[25] I.N.E. Onwurah et al., Integrated environmental biotechnology-oriented framework for solid waste management and control in Nigeria, International Journal of Environmental Waste Management. 1 (2006) 94-104.


[26] A.A. Adu, O.J. Aderinola, V. Kusemij, Assessment of Trace Metal Levels In Commonly Edible Vegetables From Selected Markets In Lagos State, Nigeria, Current World Environment. 9(3) (2014) 789-796.


[27] O.O. Odukoya et al., Heavy metals in topsoil of Abeokuta dumpsites. Global J. Pure Applied Sci., 7 (2000) 467-472.

[28] O.A. Nubi et al., Impact assessment of dumpsite leachate on the qualities of surface water and sediment Of River Eku, Ona-Ara Local Government, Oyo State, Nigeria. Nigeria, Sci. World J. 3 (2008) 17-20.


[29] S.A. Uba, et al., Assessement of heavy metals bioavailability in dumpsites of Zaira Metropolis, Nigeria, African Journal of Biotechnology. 7 (2008) 122-130.

[30] N.E. Okoronkwo et al., Levels of toxic elements in soils of abandoned waste dumpsite, African Journal of Biotechnology. 5 (2006) 1241-1244.

[31] N.E. Okoronkwo et al., Risk and health implications of polluted soils for crop production, African Journal of Biotechnology. 4 (2005) 1521-1524.

[32] K. Ahmad et al., Determination Of Forage Concentrations Of Lead, Nickel And Chromium In Relation To The Requirements Of Grazing Ruminants In The Salt Range, Pakistan, Pakistan Journal of Botany. 4(1) (2009) 61-65.

[33] O.P. Sobukola, Heavy metal levels of some fruits and leafy vegetables from selected markets in Lagos, Nigeria, African Journal of Food Science. 4(2) (2010) 389–393.

[34] B.E. Chove, W.R. Ballegu, L.M. Chove, Copper and Lead levels in two popular leafy vegetables grown around Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania, Tanzania Health Research Bulletin. 8(1) (2006) 168-169.


[35] E. Enemari, Vehicular emissions: Environmental and health implications. National conference on the phase-out leaded gasoline in Nigeria, (2001).

[36] O.E. Orisakwe, Environmental pollution and blood lead levels in Nigeria: Who is unexposed, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 15(3) (2009) 315-317.


[37] V.M. Thomas, A. Kwong, Ethanol as a lead replacement: Phasing out leaded gasoline in Africa. Energy Policy. 29 (2001) 1133-1143.


[38] R.N. Nwaoguikpe, The Effect of Crude Oil Spill on the Ascorbic Acid Content of Some Selected Vegetable Species: Spinacea oleraceae, Solanum melongena and Talinum triangulare in an Oil Polluted Soil, Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 10(3) (2011).


[39] FAO/WHO, Summary and conclusions of the seventy-third meeting of the Joint, (2010).

[40] WHO. (2011). Water-related diseases. Available at Geneva. Available: accessed 22/09/201186.

[41] Codex Alimentarius Commissiom (CAC), Working Document For Information And Use In Discussions Related To Contaminants And Toxins In The GSCTFF (Prepared By Japan And The Netherlands). Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme Codex Committee On Contaminants In Foods. 5th Session. The Hague, The Netherlands, 21 - 25 March, (2011).


[42] JECFA, Methylmercury, in: Safety evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. Report of the 61st Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Geneva, World Health Organization, International Programme on Chemical Safety. WHO Technical Report Series 922, 2004, pp.132-139.


[43] A.P. Neal, Mechanisms of Heavy Metal Neurotoxicity: Lead and Manganese, Journal of Drug Metabolism and Toxicology. 5 (2012) 5-002.

[44] M.A. Radwan, A.K. Salama, Market basket survey for some heavy metals in Egyptian fruits and vegetables, Food and Chemical Toxicology. 44 (2006) 1273–1278.


[45] D.R. Buhler, C. Miranda, Antioxidant activities of flavonoids. OR, USA: Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, (2004).

Show More Hide
Cited By:
This article has no citations.