Health risk assessment of levels of some toxic metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of some commercial soft drinks commonly consumed among students of Nnamdi Azikiwe university, Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria

  • Authors

    • Rose Ngozi Asomugha Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University
    • Chijoke Emmanuel Igwe
    • Peace Ukamaka Nome
    • Onyinye Mary Uchendu
    • Nwamkwere Godson
  • Heavy Metals, PAHs, Risk Assessment, Soft Drink.
  • Food Safety is of growing concern globally, and more so considering the relatively high proportion of soft drinks in the beverage market worldwide, and its rate of consumption especially amongst the youths. It is essential to evaluate the levels of toxic metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) residues of which when present in soft drinks above the permissible limits could pose serious public health risk. The aim of this present study was to assess the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Hg, Cd ,As) and Polycyclic aromatic Hydrocarbons(PAHs) in 16 commercial soft drinks marketed in Awka, using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy(AAS) and Flame Ionization detector (GC-FID), respectively. The carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk assessment were performed using the method established by United State Environmental Protection agency(USEPA).The data obtained were compared with the permissible limit set for drinking water by United State Environmental Protection Agency(USEPA),World Health Organization (WHO),Standard Organization of Nigeria(SON) and Federal Environmental Protection Agency(FEPA). The highest mean level of 0.6116 mg/l is related to Pb and the lowest of 0.0028mg/l related to Hg. The mean levels of the metals increased in this order: Hg<As<Cd<Pb. For the PAHs, using Benzo(a)pyrene as the benchmark for other PAHs congeners because of its strong carcinogenic potency, is not detected in this study, and thus pose no health risk. The target hazard quotient (THQ) of Hg in the studied samples is less than 1. Pb levels in75% the studied samples had THQ>1, and thus, pose a health risk. The hazard index, calculated as the combined risk of heavy metal toxicity is greater than unity (HI>1).The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) values estimated for Pb, As and Cd in the sample were 6.25%,31.25% and 25% ,respectively, representing higher than acceptable risk value of (10-6 -10-4) . The results raise a concern for the public exposed with respect to As and Cd carcinogenic risk values.



  • References

    1. [1] Abiodun O. A, Omobola O. O and Anthony I. O (2017). Analytical methods for polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and their Global Trend of Distribution in water and sediment: A Review.Intechnopen.J.

      [2] Adebayo,C.O and Sanni,S.A and Baiyegunhi,J.S(2012).Microcredit scheme impact and food security status of status of beneficiaries in Kaduna State,Nigeria:A propensity score matching approach.African journal of Agricultural Research Vol.7(37).pp5191-5197.

      [3] Adegbola R.A,Adekanmbi A.I,Abiona D.L,Atare A.A.,(2015).Evaluation of some HM Contaminants in biscuits,fruit drinks,Concentrates,candy,milk products and carbonated drinks sold in Ibadan,Nigeria.Int.J.Brain Cognit.sci.9,1611-1696.

      [4] Adepoju-Bellow A.A., Oguntibeju,O.O ,Onuebu,M.T,Ayoola,G.A and Coker,H.A.B (2012).Analysis of Selected Metallic Impurities in soft drinks marketed in Lagos,Nigeria.African Journal of Biotecnology vol 11(20).pp4676-4680,Available online.http://www.academic

      [5] Ahmadi A and Ziarati P, (2015). Chemical Composition Profile of canned and frozen sweet corn (Zea mays) in Iran.Orient.J.Chem.31.1065-1070.

      [6] Akan J,Kolo B,Yikala B and Ogugbuaja M.(2013).Determination of some HMs in vegetable Samples from Biu local gov area,Borno State,North Eastern Nig.Int.J.Environmental Anal.1,40-46

      [7] Alani,R.Olayinka,K.and Alo,B(2013).Studies on persistent organic pollutants(POPs) in the Lagos: Occurrence and levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in engeering and applied sciences (JETEAS),4(6),2013,811-818.

      [8] Al-Mudhaf H,Alzaid H, and Abu-Shady A I.(2016).Study of trace and heavy metals Content of soft drinks in the state of Kuwait.Int.J.Eng.Res.App.6(5),1.

      [9] Arigbede,O.E Olutona,G.O and Dawodu,M.O(2019)Dietary Intake and Risk Assessment of heavy metals from selected Biscuit Brands in Nigeria.J Heavy Met Toxicity Dis Vol.4 No.2:3.

      [10] Ashraf W, Jaffa M., and Masud K (2000). Heavy trace metal and macronutrient levels in various soft drinks and juices.Journal of the chemical society of pakistan.22:119-124.

      [11] Bingol M., Yentur,Er B., and Oktem A,B(2010).Determination of Some heavy metal levels in soft drinks from Turkey using ICP/OES method.Czech J.Food Sci.,28:213-216

      [12] Brazkova M, and Krastanov A. (2013). Polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons sources,effects and biodegredation.Proceedings of the international scientific conference of university of Ruse,Razgard,Bulgaria.52(102):1-5.

      [13] Dehelean A and MagdasbD.A(2013). Analysis of mineral and heavy metal content of some Commercial fruit juices by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Sw world J.2013

      [14] European Communities (EC) (1998), The quality of water intended for human consumption,official journal of the European communities.Council Directives 98183/EC. http//

      [15] Fang Y,Zhang A,Wang H,LI H,Zhang Z,Chen S and Luan L.J.F.C.(2010).Health risk assessment of trace elements in Chinese raisins produced in Xinjiang province.Food Control 21(5),732-739

      [16] Fathabad A.E,Shariatifar N,Moazzen M,Nazmara S,Fakhri Y,Alimohammed M,Azari A, and khaneghah A.M.J.F.(2018).Determination of heavy metal content of processed fruit products from Tehrans market using ICP-OES:a risk assessment study

      [17] Fu J,Zhou Q,Liu J,Liu W,Wang T,Zhang Q and Jiang G.J.C.(2008).High levels of heavy metals in rice (Oryza sativa L.)from a typical E-waste recycling area in southeast China and its potential risk to human health.Chemoshere .71,(7),1269-1275

      [18] FEPA (1991). Federal Environmental Protection Agency Guidelines and Standards for Environmental pollution control in Nigeria. p35.

      [19] Fretheim K (1983). Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon in Grilled meat products-A review.Food chemistry vol 31.p1083-1090.[Pubmed][Google Scholar].

      [20] Godwill E.A,Jane I.C, Scholastica I.U,Marcellus U,Eugene A.L, and Gloria O.A(2015).Determination of some soft drinks constituents and contamination by some heavy metals in Nigeria.Toxicology Reports ,2,384-390

      [21] Hague T, Petroczi A,Andrew P.L,Barkery and Naughton D.P(2008).Determination of Metal ion content of beverages and estimation of target hazard quotients:a comparative study.Chem Cent J,2:13

      [22] Harnack L,Stang J and Story M.(1999).Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents:nutrional consequences.Journal of American Dietetic Association 99(4),436-441.

      [23] Halek.F,Nabi.G.H,Ganjidoust.H,Keyanpour.M, and Mirmohammadi.M.(2006).Particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban air of Tehran,Iran J.Environ.Health Sci.Eng.,3(3),247-254.

      [24] Jarup L (2003). Hazards of Heavy metal Contamination. British medical Bulletin.68:419

      [25] Krejpcio Z., Stonkowski,S and Bartela,J(2005).Safety of Fresh Fruits and Juices available on the Polish market as determined by heavy metal residues, Polish Journal of Environmental studies,14:877-879.

      [26] Kumar B,Tyagi ,Verma VK,Gaur R and Sharma C,S(2014).Concentration,Sources,Idntification and health risk of selected Priority Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in resential street soils .Advanced Applied Science Research.5(3):130-131.

      [27] Liu X,Song Q,Tang Y,Li w,Xu J,et al.,(2013).Human healt risk assessment of heavy metals in soil-vegetable system:a multi-medium analysis.Sci Total Environ 463:530-540.

      [28] Lorenzo.D,Entwistle.J.A,Cave.M, and Dean.J.R.(2011).Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban street dust:implications for human health,Chemosphere,83(7),970-977.

      [29] Magomaya A.M., Yebpella G, G and Okpaegbe U.C (2015). An Assessment of metal Contaminant levels in selected soft drinks sold in Nigeria.Intl of Innovative Science,Engineering & Toxicology vol 2.

      [30] Maliszewska-Kordybach.B,Smreczak,B and Klimkowicz-Pawlas.A.(2009).Concentrations,source and spatial distribution of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in agricultural soils in the Eastern part of the EU:Poland as a case study.Sci.Total Environ,407(12),3746-3753.

      [31] Maduabuchi J.M.U.,Nzegwu C.N.,Adigba E,O.,Aloke R.U.,Ezomike C.N.,Okocha C,E.,Obi E., and Orisakwe O.E(2006).Lead and Cadmium exposures from canned and non-canned beverages in Nigeria.A Public health concern.Science Total of Environment .366:621-626

      [32] Martorell I,Perello G,Marti-Cid.R,Castell.V,Liobet.J.M and Domingo.J.L(2010).Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) in food and estimated PAH intake by the population of Catalonia,Spain:temperoral trend.Environ Int.J.,36(5),424-432.

      [33] Mathur H, P, Johnson S and Kumar A. (2003).†Analysis of pesticide residue in soft drinks “Centre for Science Env (CSE) Report, India.

      [34] Michna,W and Szteke,B(2001).Report of monitoring of quality of soils,plants and agricultural and food products in the year 2000.Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,(eds),Warszawa,pp23-113,(in polish).

      [35] Nabi, S.Fatemeh,S.Behnoz,J.Shahrokh,N and Majid,A.(2020).The concentration and health risk assessment of trace elements in commercial soft drinks from Iran marketed.Intl J.of Environmental Analytical chemistry.

      [36] Nagajyoti,P.C,Lee,K.D, and Sreeknanth,T.V.M.(2010)Heavy metals,occurrence and toxicity for plants: a review.Environmental Chemistry Letters,vol. 8,no 3,pp.199-216.

      [37] Ofori H., Owusu,M and Anyebuno,G(2013).Heavy Metal Analysis of Fruit Juice and Soft drinks bought from retail market in Accra,Ghana,Journal of Scientific Research and Reports 2(1)pp423-428.

      [38] Ogunlana O.O,Ogunlana O.E,Akinsanya A.E and Ologbenla O.O(2015).Heavy metal analysis of selected soft drinks in Nigeria .Journal of Global Biosciences.4(2)pp1335-1338.

      [39] Orisakwe O,E.,Oragwu C.I.,Maduabuchi,J.M.U.,Nzgwu C.N and Nduka J.K.C.,(2009).Copper,Selenium and Zinc content of canned and noncanned beverages in Nigeria ,African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology,3(1),pp042-049.

      [40] Perra.G,Pozo.K,Guerranti.C,Lazzeri.D,Volpi.V,Corsolini.S and Forcardi.S.(2011).Levels and spatial distribution of polycyclic hydrocarbons(PAHs) in superficial sediment from 15 Italian marine protected area (MPA).Mar Pollut Bull,62(4),874-877.

      [41] Pofahl G.M,Capps and Clauson A.l(2005).Demand for Non-Alcoholic Beverage: Evidence from the ACNielsen Home Scan Panel.Selected paper at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Providence, RI July 24-27,2005.

      [42] Prycek.J,Ciganek.M, and Srinek.Z.(2007).Clean-up of extracts for nitrated derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons analysis prior their gas chromatography dterminationâ€Journal Brazilian Chemical Society ,18,1125-1131.

      [43] Roberts I. I and Orisakwe O. E (2011). Evaluation of potential dietary toxicity of heavy metals in some common Nigeria beverages:A look at antimony,tin and mercury.Qscience Connect,2.

      [44] Salma I,Sajib M,Motalab M,Muntaz B,Jahan S,Hoque,M and Saha B.(2015).Comparative evaluation of macro and micro-nutrient element and heavy metal contents of commercial fruit juices available in,Nutr.3,56-63.

      [45] Scientific Committee on foods of EC(SCF)(2002),the opinion of the scientific committee on food on the risk to human Health of PAHs in food.SCF/CS/CNTM/PAH/29 final European Commission,Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General ,Brussels.

      [46] Sharma R,K.,Singh A, Agrawal,A and Marshall F,M(2010).â€Risk assessment of heavy metal toxicity through Contaminated vegetables from waste water irrigated area of varanasi ,Indiaâ€Tropical Ecology,vol 2.pp375-387.

      [47] Simko P (2002). Determination of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked meat products and smoke flavouring food additives.J. Chromatogr.B770(1-2) (3-18).

      [48] SON (2002). Nigeria Standards for Drinking water quality, Revised edition 2007.

      [49] Tang W, Duan S, and Shan,B et al.,(2006).Concentrations diffusive Fluxes and toxicity of heavy metals in pore water of the Fuyang River,Haihe Basin ,â€Ecotoxicology and Environmental safety,vol.127pp.80-86.

      [50] Ubong I,u.,Obunwo C and Faafa A.,(2016).Essential and Non-Essential metals in soft drink drinks consumed and sold in Port Harcourt,Nigeria RA Journal of Applied Research vol2(08)pp550-557.Issue:2394-6709.

      [51] US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1993). Provisional Guidance for Quantitative Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons EPA/600/R-93/089, U.S Environmental Protection Agency,Washington,D.C:Office of Research and Development.

      [52] United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2012). Drinking Water Standard and Health Advisories,12:3-4.

      [53] USEPA (2002). Polycyclic organic matter.Environmental Protection Agency, Washington ,Dc. Available at

      [54] Vaux,B and Golder,s.(2003).â€105.what is your generic term for sweetened carbonated beverage?â€.

      [55] WHO (2006). World Health Organisation Guidelines for drinking water quality, Recommendation Geneva, Switzerland.

      [56] Zhong, W., and Wang, M (2002). Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in vegetables from northern China. J. Environ. Sci. Health A37:287-296.

  • Downloads

  • How to Cite

    Ngozi Asomugha, R., Emmanuel Igwe, C., Ukamaka Nome, P., Mary Uchendu, O., & Godson, N. (2020). Health risk assessment of levels of some toxic metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of some commercial soft drinks commonly consumed among students of Nnamdi Azikiwe university, Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria. International Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 9(1), 1-9.