Human health risks from metals and metalloid via consumption of food animals near Gold Mines in Tarkwa, Ghana: Estimation of the daily intakes and target hazard quotients (THQs)

Heavy metal and metalloid contamination in food resulting from mining is of major concern due to the potential risk involved. Food consumption is the most likely route for human exposure to metals. This study was therefore to estimate the daily intake and health risk (based on target hazard quotients, THQ) from metals via consumption of free-range chicken, goat and sheep near gold mines in Tarkwa, Ghana. The concentrations of Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, and Pb were measured with an inductively coupled plasma33 mass spectrometer and Hg analysis was done using the mercury analyzer. The mean concentrations of metals ranged from nd–542 mg/kg wet weight. Principal component analysis of the results showed a clear separation between chicken, grouped on one side, and the ruminants clustered on another side in both offal and muscle. Interestingly, As, Cd, Hg, Mn and Pb made one cluster in the offal of chicken. Chicken muscle also showed similar distribution with As, Hg and Pb clustered together. The daily intake of As (μg/kg body weight/day) were in the following ranges; [0.002 (kidneys of goat and sheep)–0.19 (chicken gizzard)], Cd [0.003 (chicken muscle)–0.55 (chicken liver)], Hg [0.002 (goat muscle)–0.29 (chicken liver)], Pb [0.01 (muscles and kidneys of goat and sheep)–0.96 (chicken gizzard)] and Mn [0.13 (goat kidney)–8.92 (sheep liver)]. From the results, daily intake of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Mn in these food animals were low compared to the provisional tolerable daily intake guidelines. The THQs although less than one, indicated that contributions of chicken gizzard and liver to toxic metal exposure in adults and especially children could be significant.
An article published by Academic Press
Offal, Muscle, Estimated daily intake, Target hazard quotient, Ghana