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The study investigated the concentrations of some inorganic contaminants such as copper(Cu), cadmium(Cd), chromium(Cr), nickel(Ni) and lead (Pb) present in some food spices widely used in Port Harcourt and the health risk. This was carried out using atomic absorption spectroscopy, after wet digestion. The studies showed differences in metal concentrations in different spices samples. The mean concentration and standard deviation of heavy metals in the food spices across the samples showed that copper had the highest concentration in tomatoes(15.45±5.09 mg/kg), curry(10.30±2.03 mg/kg), garlic(8.65±2.08 mg/kg), onions(6.50±2.52 mg/kg) and uda(6.15±3.75 mg/kg) respectively. Chromium was only detected in curry (2.75±1.00 mg/kg), pepper (0.65±0.02mg/kg) and salt (0.05±0.00 mg/kg). The detection level of nickel was high in tomatoes (6.90±4.89 mg/kg), curry (4.09±1.90 mg/kg), salt (6.15±3.70 mg/kg) and onions (3.09±2.10 mg/kg). The following food spices had more of lead; uda(3.08±2.87 mg/kg), tomatoes(3.80±1.28 mg/kg), curry(2.86±1.34 mg/kg) and salt(2.60±0.76 mg/kg) respectively. The result indicates that cadmium was not detected for any of the food spices and chilles spices also showed no presence of any of the heavy metals tested for. The Metal Pollution Index (PI) were all less than unity (<1). Daily intake limit was calculated and compared with MRL (minimum risk level) values given by ATSDR (2001). Results showed that concentrations of Pb of some spices under study were much larger than those of MRL values. Thus intake of these spices can cause accumulation in the body.
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