Lead (Pb) is a potential environmental contaminant that has the capability of causing some human health problems, especially when it accumulates in food crops. This study aimed to evaluate the risk of ingesting Pb-contaminated vegetables on the intelligent quotient (IQ) of school children, using “target risk quotient” methodology. From the responses to the questionnaires administered to the school children/teachers, vegetables ingestion rate (VIR) by the children was found to be 16.28±2.59 g/child/day while the average body weight of the 100 selected school children, aged 6 to 8 years was 32.5±2.8 kg. Total estimated daily intake (EDI) of Pb from contaminated vegetables was 3.45 mg/day/child while that of the control was 0.098 mg/day/child. The calculated target risk quotients were 0.985 and 0.028, for children in the lead-mining community and in the control group, respectively. The evaluated intelligent quotients (IQ) were respectively 92.35±13.23 and 106.95±11.75 for children from lead-mining community and the control. These values were not significantly different at p <0.05 while the risk quotient was less than 1 (< 1). The overall result suggests that exposure of school children to lead-contaminated vegetables alone, at the concentrations established in this work, would not compromise their IQ.
Key words: Children, intelligent quotient, lead, vegetables.
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