Investigating vegetable contamination in indigent communities by heavy metals: a case of food safety in Bushenyi, Uganda

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Date

2021

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Abstract

Food contamination by heavy metals is a health burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, we illustrate this burden by quantifying levels of Cd, Cr, Ni, Co, Pb, Fe, Cu and Zn in vegetables from Bushenyi District (Uganda). Results show that cabbage, scarlet eggplant, tomato and amaranth sold in Bushenyi, Ishaka, Kashenyi, Kizinda and Nyakabirizi open markets contain high levels of Zn and Fe. The uptake of metals overall appeared to be speciesspecific. Amaranth, for example, had more metals than scarlet eggplant, which in turn had more metals than tomato or cabbage. Within a species, cabbage from Ishaka and Kashenyi presented a combinatorial set of characteristics quite distinct from cabbage from other areas. Such differences arose perhaps from differential capacities to uptake/retain metals from soil or atmospheric particulates. More studies are needed to pinpoint sources of vegetable contamination in Bushenyi. Perhaps then remedial measures can be proposed.

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Keywords

Heavy metals in vegetables; food safety; ecotoxicology; food policy

Citation

Eric Oloya Otim, Keneth Iceland Kasozi, Gerald Zirintunda, Kevin Matama & Ochan Otim (2021) Investigating vegetable contamination in indigent communities by heavy metals: a case of food safety in Bushenyi, Uganda, Environmental Pollutants and Bioavailability, 33:1, 292-300, DOI: 10.1080/26395940.2021.1984851