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Determination of Heavy Metals in Vegetables Farmed in Igabi Local Government

Download complete project materials   on Determination of Heavy Metals in Vegetables Farmed in Igabi Local Government   from  chapter one to five with references


This study was carried out to determine the levels of different heavy metals such as cadmium, Zinc, Copper and Iron in vegetables;  lettuce, bitter leaf, and fluted pumpkin farmed in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Using atomic absorption Spectrophotometric analysis, the result shows the concentrations of cadmium (2.4-2.1225mg/kg) Zinc (37.145-80.8975mg/kg) iron (1463-2381mg/kg) Copper (11.5325-13.335mg/kg) detected in all the samples except for cadmium  which was not detected in lettuce. The concentration zinc, iron and copper detected in bitter leaf was the highest and the concentration of cadmium in fluted pumpkin and bitter leaf was the lowest in all the samples analyzed.

The result also indicated that the concentration of cadmium, iron, copper detected in all the sample analyzed in this project were above the permissible limits of 0.2mg/kg, 20mg/kg and 50mg/kg for Cd, Cu and Zn with the exception of zinc which was below he permissible limit of 100mg/kg set by FAO/Who in 2001.


Title Page


Approval page




Table of content


1.0     Introduction

1.1     Effects of heavy metals on human health

1.2     Benefits of heavy metals

1.3     Aim and objectives

1.3.1  Aim

1.3.2  Objectives

1.4     Justification of the study


2.0     Literature review

2.1     Example of Heavy Metals

2.1.1  Lead

2.1.2  Cadmium

2.2     Vegetables

2.2.1  Lettuce

2.2.2  Fluted Pumpkin

2.2.3  Bitter – Leaf


3.0     Materials and methods

3.1     Materials

3.1.1  Reagent and Apparatus

3.1.2  Instruments

3.2     Method

3.2.1  Samples

3.2.2  Sample Collection

3.2.3  Principle of Wet/Acid Digestion

3.2.4  Sample Preparation

3.2.5  Sample Digestion

3.2.6  Principles of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy


4.0     Results


Discussion, conclusion and Recommendation

5.1     Discussion

5.2     Conclusion

5.3     Recommendation




The consumption of vegetables as food offer a rapid and least means of providing adequate vitamins, and a supply of minerals and fibers. Vegetables that are used as food include those used in making soups or served as integral parts of the main sources of meals. Leafy vegetables occupy a very important place in the human diet (Zurera et al., 1999). But vegetables unfortunately constitute a group of food which contribute maximally to nitrate and other anions as well as heavy metal consumption. Heavy metals depositions are associated with a wide range of sources such as small scale industries (including battery, metal smelting and cable coating industries), vehicular emissions, and diesel generator sets. Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and zinc are important environmental pollutant, particularly in areas where vegetables are irrigated with waste water.

Consumption of vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, lettuce, bitter leaf and pumpkin by humans and animals pose serious heath hazard, although some heavy metals as lead, cadmium and magnesium are important in plant nutrition, many of them do not play any significant role in the plant’s physiology. The chain is done through these leafy vegetables and they have harmful effects on health (Jarup, 2003)

Vegetables act as neutralizing agents for acidic substance during digestion, as human activities increases especially with the application of modern technology, pollution and contamination of human food chain has become inevitable.

Heavy metals cannot be under estimated as these food stuffs are important components of human diet, very rich and comparatively cheaper source of vitamins, and consumption of these items provides taste and palatability which increases appetite and provides fibre for digestion and prevent constipation (Agrawal, 2008).


Small amounts of heavy metals are needed in our environment and diet and are actually necessary for good health, but large amount of many of them may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning). Heavy metal toxicity affects nervous system  and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver and other vital organs. Long term exposure may results in slowly progressing muscular, and neurological degenerative processes, allergies are not uncommon, and repeated long-term contact with some metals (or their compounds) may cause cancer (WHO, 2006).


For some heavy metals, toxic levels can be just above the background concentrations naturally found in nature. Therefore, it is important to learn about heavy metals and take protective measures against excessive exposure. The association of symptoms indicative of acute toxicity is not difficult to recognize because they are usually severe, rapid in onset, and associated with a known ingestion or exposure and these symptoms include: cramping, nausea and vomiting, pain, sweating, headache difficulty in breathing, impaired cognitive motor, and language skills and convulsions symptoms of chronic exposure, nervousness and emotional instability, and nausea, are also usually recognized. However, they are much more difficult to associate with their cause (Jarup, 2003).


Symptoms resulting from chronic exposure are very similar to symptoms of other health conditions and often develop slowly over months or even years.

Sometimes, symptoms of chronic exposure subside, thinking the symptoms are related to something else and people postpone seeking treatment or medication (Khillare et al., 2004).


In small quantities, certain heavy metals are nutritionally essential for a healthy life, those elements, or some form of them, are in  fruits and vegetables and in commercially available multivitamin products (WHO, 2006). This research work focuses on vegetables because it is widely consumed in Nigeria, so it is important to know about their relationship with heavy metals.

Diagnostic medical application include direct injection of gallium  during radio logical procedures dosing with chromium in parent nutrition mixtures, and the use of lead as X-ray shield (Jassir, et al., 2005). Heavy metals are also common in industrial applications such as the manufacture of pesticides, batteries alloys, electroplated metal parts, textile dyes, steel, and so on and so forth (WHO, 2006). Many of these products are in our homes and add to the quality of life when properly used.


1.3.1 Aim

The aim of this project is to determine the levels of cadmium, iron, copper and zinc in selected vegetables (fluted pumpkin, bitter leaf and lettuce).

1.3.2 Objectives

  1. To ascertain the level of there heavy metals in vegetable samples selected.
  2. To compare the concentration of heavy metals determined with  standard like WHO.


Previous project have been carried out to ascertain different levels of heavy metals in soil, plant and water samples  in several areas but this project specially targets heavy metals in vegetables grown in Igabi Local Government area of Kaduna State. Where work in this area has been limited.


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