Exposure assessment of lead in rice

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MARCH, 2017
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The Asante Akim Central municipality, with Konongo as its capital is known for its small scale mining activities. It was expected that human and commercial activities, as well as deposition of heavy metals in the environment that may lead to contamination of the food chain with heavy metals. The main occupation of the inhabitants is farming which include rice farming, hence the need to perform exposure assessment of lead (Pb) in rice in the area. The main objective of this research was to evaluate lead exposure and potential health risk of consuming local rice produced in the Asante- Akim area. The levels of Pb were compared with that of the WHO/FAO recommended values. Pb content in rice ranged from 0.06 to 0.70 mg/Kg with a mean of 0.235 mg/kg. With 70 % of the samples, the concentration of Pb was below the recommended values proposed by the WHO/FAO guidelines. The chronic daily intake (CDI) of Pb was calculated based on the rice consumption data to be 1.72857×10-5mg/Kg bw/day for adults. The exposure assessment in mean levels showed that health risk associated with Pb through the consumption of rice was present. Even the 5th percentile which represents the lowest exposed consumers showed that there is significant risk associated with Pb through rice consumption. It is recommended that consumer wash rice thoroughly and cook before consuming since these practices help reduce heavy metal content.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management,