Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1921–1931 | Cite as

Candy consumption may add to the body burden of lead and cadmium of children in Nigeria

  • Orish Ebere OrisakweEmail author
  • Zelinjo Nkeiruka Igweze
  • Nnaemeka Arinze Udowelle
Research Article


The affordability of candies and chocolates makes their consumption common especially in children. Heavy metal contamination of these candies is well known. This study has estimated health risks associated with heavy metals (HM; Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Zn) in commonly consumed candies in Nigeria. Fifty candies/sweets and chocolates/chewing gums bought from different stores in Port Harcourt and Uyo in Niger Delta, Nigeria, were processed and digested in perchloric acid. The filtrate was analyzed for these heavy metals using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Pb/Zn and Cd/Zn ratios were calculated. Daily intake, the target hazard quotient (THQ), the hazard index (HI), and the cancer risk were estimated for children. About 80% of the samples exceeded the 0.1 mg/kg permissible lead level in candies. Milk sweet had the highest Pb:Zn and Cd:Zn ratios of 0.99 and 0.40 respectively. For chocolates, the Emperor had the highest Pb:Zn (0.50) ratios and Trident had the highest Cd:Zn (0.57) ratios. The calculated percentage provisional tolerable weekly intake (%PTWI) of cadmium from consumption of chocolates and candies was higher than the Joint Expert Committee for Food Additives (JECFA) standard, and the cancer risk of lead, cadmium, and chromium ranged between 10−7 and 10−3. Consumption of some candies by children in Nigeria may pose significant health risks.


Confectioneries Health risk assessment Potential toxic metals Public health 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Port-HarcourtPort HarcourtNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyMadonna UniversityEleleNigeria

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