An Experimental Study Determining Levels of Lead Contamination of Dioscorea Spp. (Yams) From Selected Regions of Kampala Capital City, Uganda.
Keywords:Heavy Metals, Yams, Swamps, Upland Gardens, Lead
Heavy metal toxicity is a growing concern and often an unknown root cause of a number of serious health issues. Due to bio-accumulation, heavy metals are passed up the food chain from plants to humans. The objectives of this study were to determine the quantity of lead in yams from selected swamps and upland gardens, to compare lead contamination in yams from swamps to those from upland gardens, and compare the levels of lead in yams from swamps and upland gardens to the FAO/WHO acceptable limits.
Ready to eat/mature yams were harvested from swamps and upland gardens respectively and their lead content was determined using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS).
Yams collected from RS, a swamp site had the lowest amount of lead at a mean lead level of 1.110 mg/kg. Yams collected from KCU which was an upland garden had the highest amount of lead with a mean lead concentration of 2.324mg/kg. Yams obtained from upland gardens contained a higher concentration of lead at a mean lead concentration of 1.7858 mg/kg compared to a mean lead concentration of 1.6172 mg/kg which was found in yams collected from the swamp sites. However, there was no statistically significant difference in lead contamination of the yams obtained from either site. The concentration of lead in both yams collected from swamps and those obtained from upland gardens was higher than the FAO/WHO acceptable limit of lead in food.
The level of lead contamination in yams is not dependent on the agricultural site where they are grown. Concomitantly, lead levels in yams regardless of their site of growth, were above the FAO/WHO maximum acceptable limits of lead in food and thus suggested that yams pose a significant route of human exposure to lead once they are consumed.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Joseph Tumwine, Halima Bushirah Nassanga , John Kateregga, Gabriel Tumwine, Joshua Kitimbo
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