Health Risk Assessment of some Environmental Pollutants through the consumption of Cabbage and Lettuce Eaten Raw: A Probabilistic-based analysis.

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August, 2016
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The exposure of inhabitants from Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana to arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) were estimated in a mixture of cabbage and lettuce. The purpose of the study was to estimate the risk associated with the consumption of cabbage and lettuce eaten raw for long term exposures. The samples were collected from farms, market, cafeterias and street food vending sites. Inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to quantify the heavy metals whereas gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to quantify PAH in the samples. The study showed that the concentrations of As, Cd, Pb and Hg were below the acceptable levels in reference to the standard reference doses (RfD). Monte Carlo Simulation of hazard data were performed using dataset of heavy metals and PAH concentrations, ingestion of raw cabbage and lettuce and consumer body mass. Carcinogenic risk was quantified for As, Pb and PAH as 7.90 × 10- 5, 6.42 × 10-7 and 4.33×10-5 respectively. Additionally, non-carcinogenic risk (HQ) of Cd and Hg also recorded 6.9 × 10-3 and 3 × 10-4 respectively. The assessments revealed that dietary exposure to the four heavy metals does not pose a health hazard threat to consumers of cabbage and lettuce. Unlike, the results of PAH which presented a high risk based on the 50th and 95th percentile (2.79 ×10-5 and 8.51 × 10-3 respectively) with respect to the acceptable level (1×10-5). It suggests that cabbage and lettuce consumed in the study area may pose a significant health risk with respect to PAH.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Science and Technology.