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Determination Of Heavy Metals (Pb, Cd And Hg) In Crude And Refined Edible Salt At Production Level In Cameroon – A Risk Assessment

Volume 4 - Issue 2, February 2020 Edition
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Bonglaisin J. Nsawir, Mouafo T. Hippolyte, Baomog B. A. Manuela, Adjele J. B. Jorelle, Lantum D. Noni
Pb; Cd; Hg, Heavy Metals; Quality Assurance, Risk Assessment
Edible salt is the most commonly used for iodization worldwide. Therefore, any contamination of processed iodized salt could be a health hazard. The present study aimed to determine the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Cd and Hg) in the crude salt as well as after processing it, to assess the risk involved in consuming food grade salt that has passed through this process in order to propose amendments. Eighty-two crude salt samples and the same number of refined salt samples were collected from three factories that are producing iodized to serve the CEMAC Region in 2006, 2010 and 2018. The levels of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), were determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy method. The study reveals that imported crude salt from Namibia, Egypt and Djibouti does contain high levels of these heavy metals contaminants. The levels expressed as average (range) in μg/g of Pb, Cd, Hg, in refined salt samples were 3.7 (0.8 – 8.0), 0.23 (0.0 – 0.6) and 0.45 (0.01 – 0.9) in 2006; 2.5 (0.2 – 9.0), 0.32 (0.0 – 0.8) and 0.37 (0.0 – 0.9) in 2010; 2.6 (0.1 – 8.0), 0.2 (0.0 – 0.8) and 0.35 (0.0 – 1.0) in 2018, respectively. The results obtained in the present study were compared with Codex standards. Except for Cd that posed no problem, all values for these metals in refined salts were higher than the permitted levels defined by Codex (2 μg/g of Pb, 0.5 μg/g of Cd and 0.1 μg/g of Hg).
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