African Journal of
Pure and Applied Chemistry

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pure Appl. Chem.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0840
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPAC
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 357

Full Length Research Paper

Analysis of the levels of arsenic in home-made brews, spirits, in water and raw materials using Hgaas in Nairobi county

Masime Jeremiah O*, Wanjau Ruth, Murungi Jane and Onindo Charles
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 August 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013



This study was carried out to determine the levels of arsenic in the home-made brews, home-made spirits, raw materials and water. One hundred and thirty two home - made alcoholic beverages, one hundred and ten water and eighteen raw materials samples obtained from various parts of Nairobi slums and its environs were analyzed for arsenic. The method of analysis was hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy. Allhome-made brews samples contained concentrations of arsenic that were lower than the standard for total arsenic allowed in water. The concentrations of arsenic in both brew and water ranged from ND to 0.88 ± 0.028 mg/L. These concentrations in these homemade brews and raw materials used varied depending on the brew. The recommended maximum contamination levels set by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and WHO for arsenic in alcohols is 0.05 mg/L. Values of arsenic obtained in the drinks and the raw materials used were generally low. This also implies that the tap water and home-made brews are safe. In general, those consuming home-made brews are the young and elderly living in the slum areas in Nairobi County and it is these populations that is more vulnerable to over exposure of this metal. It is recommended that foods and drinks be tested for arsenic regularly to determine whether they meet the EPA/WHO standards.


Key words: arsenic, HGAAS, homemade brews.