Due to insufficient clean water resources, wastewater is largely used for irrigation of vegetables and fruits in many developing countries like Nigeria. As a result of this, vegetables in spite of providing nutrients also accumulate toxic metals and causes health risks. In the present study, the levels of heavy metals (lead (Pb), cadnium (Cd), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu)), were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrometers (AAS). The water used for irrigation had the following concentrations, 1.639 ± 0.0016, 0.037 ± 0.0021, 10.046 ± 0.0003, 0.295 ± 0.0022 and 4.236 ± 0.0017 for Pb, Cd, Fe, Cu and Zn, respectively, while the spinach has 0.613 ± 0.0009, 0.022 ± 0.0014, 25.666 ± 0.0011, 1.934 ± 0.0007 and 1.842 ± 0.0003 for Pb, Cd, Fe, Cu and Zn. The heavy metal in the waste-water sample is higher than the spinach and when compared with the WHO recommended safe limits, statistically they are still within the range except for the Fe and Zn. The result of this study will bring awareness to consumers and the government agencies on these samples about what people consumed and its health implication, as well as assist them and the farmers in taking necessary precautions.
Key words: Heavy metals, spinach, waste-water, bioaccumulation.
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