Aim: This study was carried out to assess the level of Lead, Cadmium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Cobalt, Manganese and Magnesium in plantain samples collected from ten selected communities in Rivers State with the aim of estimating the potential health risk of heavy metal exposure. Materials and Methods: The samples were washed, oven-dried, and digested using a mixture of Nitric acid and Perchloric acid at a volume ratio of 4:1 at 1500C for 4 hours. The samples were further analyzed using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Results: The concentration (mg/kg) range in decreasing order were Mg (285 - 525) > Fe (60 - 345) > Cu (56.9 – 74.8) > Zn (5.48 – 96.0) > Mn (0.48 – 5.23) > Pb (0.78 – 2.0) > Co (0.23 – 1.28) > Cd (0.16 – 0.72). The results from the study exceeded the permissible limit set by WHO/FAO. Wide range of variation was observed in the Estimated Daily Intake of metals when compared with the Tolerable Daily Intake of different regulatory bodies. The calculated estimated daily intake values for Pb, Cd, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn, Co and Mg in samples from communities under study were highest in Etche, Nkpolu, Emuoha, Emuoha, Eleme, Eleme, Nkpolu and Rumuosi respectively. Target Hazard Quotient values greater than 1 was recorded in some samples under study indicating a health risk whereas the hazard index for plantain samples from all the communities under study was found to be >1. The average lifetime carcinogenic risk of Pb and Cd through the consumption of plantain from selected communities in Rivers State ranged between 2.9E-05 - 5.6E-05 and 2.2E-04 – 9.1E04 for Pb and Cd respectively. Conclusion: The overall study suggests that frequent consumption of plantain from these selected communities may cause potential health risk to the exposed population.
Health risk assessment, food security, plantain, EDI, THQ, THI, Niger Delta