The Environmentalist

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 431-435

First online:

Characteristic levels of heavy metals in canned sardines consumed in Nigeria

  • Chukwujindu M. A. IwegbueAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Delta State University Email author 
  • , G. E. NwajeiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Delta State University
  • , F. O. ArimoroAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Delta State University
  • , Osa EguavoenAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Ambrose Alli University

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Samples of some popular brands of canned sardines in soybean oil in the Nigerian market were analyzed for levels of cadmium, lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, manganese, chromium, copper and zinc after wet digestion with acids by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean concentrations for the metals in the different brands were as follows: cadmium 0.11–0.26 μg/g, iron 8.04–48.18 μg/g, cobalt 0.01–7.23 μg/g, nickel 0.04–3.26 μg/g, manganese 0.64–1.37 μg/g, chromium 0.01–0.10 μg/g, copper 0.10 μg/g and zinc 0.09–4.63 μg/g. Significant differences were observed in the heavy metal levels in the different brands of canned sardines except for copper and chromium. Cadmium, nickel and lead exceeded statutory safe limits.


Heavy metals Sardines Daily intake AAS Nigeria