Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic (AAS) Analysis of Heavy Metals and Health Risks Assessment of some Common Energy Drinks
Keywords:estimated daily intake, target health quotient, aluminum, magnesium, arsenic, soft drinks
Background and Purpose: Soft drinks are commonly consumed globally. Due to high demand, regulatory protocols may be breached thereby leading to contamination with heavy metals. In this study, we determined the content of five heavy metals in some Nigerian soft drinks and estimated their potential health risks.
Methods: Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) was used to determine the concentrations of magnesium, aluminum, lead, arsenic, and zinc. Twelve (12) soft drinks (labeled B1–B12) were used. After the AAS, parameters such as target health quotient (THQ), average daily intake (EDI), and chronic daily intake (CDI) were evaluated.
Results: The level of arsenic found in all soft drinks ranged from 0.001-0.0603 mg/L, as against the 0.01 mg/L maximum contaminant level (MCL) standard. Lead was 0.001-0.023mg/L (MCL is 0.01 mg/L) and within the MCL except in one sample (0.023 mg/L). Aluminum levels ranged from 0.001-2.0491 mg/L except in one sample (0.001 mg/L) and the WHO limit is 0.02 mg/L. The concentration range for magnesium was 0.6954-2.4341 mg/L versus the standard limit of 0.02 mg/L. The THQ values of aluminum were significantly different from the values of other heavy metals. The order of abundance of the metals was: Mg > Zn > Al > Pb > As. Arsenic and lead were found in relatively small concentrations compared to the other metals. The THQ value of aluminum in most of the samples was higher than normal.
Conclusion: The concentration of magnesium was above the acceptable limits in all the soft drinks. All the heavy metals, except aluminum, were within acceptable THQ limits. The high values of magnesium and aluminum underscores the need for quality control measures during production.
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