Determination of heavy metals in tomatoes cultivated under green houses and human health risk assessment

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A. Bounar
K. Boukaka
E. Leghouchi


health risk, heavy metals, pollution, soil, tomatoes


The present work aims to assess the levels of some heavy metals in agricultural soils and Tomatoes in Jijel (Algeria). The soil samples were extracted by aqua regia and fluorhydric acid methods. The tomato’s digestion was realised by the Hoening methods. Lead, Cadmium (Cd) and Zinc levels were measured using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. According to the integrated pollution index, all the sites are slightly polluted by heavy metals. In tomatoes, lead (Pb) and Cd concentrations exceeded the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In general, the hazard indexes in all the studied area are less than 1, signifying that it is not risky for the people to consume these elements. However, the hazard quotients for Cd in sites 5, 6 and 7 are greater than 1, suggesting that inhabitants are experiencing a significant potential health risk especially from the consumption of tomatoes cultivated in these sites. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study conducted on the agricultural soils of Jijel, and this could serve as a reference for future studies to monitor pollution in Jijel and its surrounding areas.

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