Volume 3, Issue 6, November 2015, Page: 115-121
Determination of the Level of Selected Heavy Metals from Khat Leaves (Cata Edulis Forsk) Grown in Gidolle, Konso and Koyira, Southern Ethiopia
Sleshi Fentie Tadesse, Analytical Chemistry Stream, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Worku Lakew Kebede, Physical Chemistry Stream, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Received: Nov. 5, 2015;       Accepted: Nov. 16, 2015;       Published: Dec. 10, 2015
DOI: 10.11648/j.sjac.20150306.16      View  4300      Downloads  168
Khat (Catha edulis forsk), a plant used as a stimulant is grown in certain areas of East Africa and the Arab Peninsula. In Ethiopia, it is cultivated in most parts of the country and distributed to local consumers and in other countries. Many farmers have adopted modern farming methods such as application of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation for Khat cultivation. These agricultural practices are known to increase the concentration of heavy metals in soil and khat. Some of these heavy metals such as Pb and Cd are toxic even at low concentrations while Zn, Cu, Fe and Cr though essential in the body, are toxic at high levels. Therefore this study determined the levels of Zn, Cu, Fe, Pb, Cd and Cr in khat where the plant is grown. Three different types of Khat samples grown in Gidolle, Konso and Koyira were collected from the growing area.0.5 g of oven dried Khat samples were digested by wet digestion using 3 mL of HNO3, 1 mL of HClO4 and 1 mL of H2O2 by setting the temperature first to 60°C for 30 min and then increased to 210°C for the next 2 h and 30 min.. The digests were analyzed for selected heavy metals using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The following concentration ranges in dry weight (μg/g) were obtained in khat: Fe (180-222), Zn (25.23-33.69), Cu (12.64-15.74), Cr (4.01-4.53). The toxic metals (Pb and Cd) were not detected in all the samples analyzed. The ANOVA results suggested that there was significant difference (p<0.05) in the levels of heavy metals between khat varieties. Levels of studied heavy metals in khat were within in the range of maximum recommended RDA value. Based on this study the analyzed khat are free from toxic heavy metals and do not pose a health risk rather it is a source of essential nutrients for the chewers.
Khat, Catha Edulis Forsk, Heavy Metals, Konso, Gidolle, Koyira, FAAS
To cite this article
Sleshi Fentie Tadesse, Worku Lakew Kebede, Determination of the Level of Selected Heavy Metals from Khat Leaves (Cata Edulis Forsk) Grown in Gidolle, Konso and Koyira, Southern Ethiopia, Science Journal of Analytical Chemistry. Vol. 3, No. 6, 2015, pp. 115-121. doi: 10.11648/j.sjac.20150306.16
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