Assessment of heavy metal and radioactivity levels in spinach (Spinacia oleracea) grown at Bahi wetlands in Dodoma region

Najat Mohammed, Boniface Haule


This study reports on the levels of heavy metals and radionuclides in Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) grown in Bahi wetlands in Dodoma Region. The farm soil in Bahi wetland has been reported to contain elevated concentrations of 238U, 232Th and 40K due to the existence of shallow uranium deposit in the area. In this study, spinach (Spinacia oleracea) grown in three zones of Bahi district were analyzed for heavy metals and radioactivity associated with the uranium deposit in the area. The concentrations of elements were determined by Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDXRF) of Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission, Arusha. The activities of the radionuclides were calculated from their concentration in µg/g. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in all samples were found to be higher than the maximum tolerable limits recommended by Codex 2015. The results show that, the mean activities of 232Th (10.8 Bq/kg) and 40K(686.9 Bq/kg)in the samples are lower than the maximum tolerable limits (1000 Bq/kg) recommended by WHO/FAO, yet higher than their activities in samples of spinach collect from a control area. Hence, regular monitoring of heavy metals and radioactivity level in farm soils and agricultural products is recommended

Key words: Heavy metals, radioactivity, spinach, Bahi Wetland, EDXRF

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