Evaluation of human exposure to lead and cadmium from some local Nigerian medicinal preparations
Journal of Applied Sciences
Department of Industrial Chemistry, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria; Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
In most developing countries, the use of Herbal Medicinal Preparations (HMPs) is common due to poverty and disillusionment with conventional medical care. In Nigeria, these products are not subjected to stringent regulation and control even with the increasing cases of adulteration and contamination (especially with heavy metals) in similar products in Asia and the Middle East. Lead and Cadmium content of some common Nigerian medicinal preparations were determined with flame atomic absorption spectrometer after acid digestion with 1:3 mixture of HNO3/HCI. Lead levels > 10 μg g-1 was detected in about 37% of the samples whereas 21% of the samples contains Pb levels ≥ 100 μg g-1 (range ND-213.6 μg g-1) The Cd content of the samples was generally less than 7 μg g-1 (range 0.3-6.61 μg g-1). Higher Pb levels were observed in preparations used in the treatment of eye infections, (as eye cleansers and in cosmetics) (8.06-213.6 μg g-1), compared to herbal soaps (ND-54.9 μg g-1), powdery preparations (ND-138.19 μg g-1) and the oil based preparations (ND-4.91 μg g-1). About 63% of the samples studied may be considered relatively safe if a Pb toxicity threshold of 10 μg g-1 is applied. These data indicate an urgent need for stringent monitoring and regulation of these products. The health implications of the application of these products can only be monitored using the Blood Lead Level (BLL) of groups engaging in such practices. © 2006 Asian Network for Scientific Information.
Blood lead levels; Flame atomic absorption spectrometers; Health implications; Human exposures; Lead and cadmiums; Medicinal preparation; Nigeria; Stringent regulations; Developing countries; Lead; Nitric acid; Cadmium