Assessment of Heavy Metal Contamination in Eggs from Selected Markets in Nairobi

There is very little information, if any, indicating whether or not there exists any heavy metal contamination in eggs within various locations in Nairobi. This study sought to determine the contamination or otherwise of heavy metals in hen eggs from selected markets within Nairobi (Kibera, Dandora, Kitisuru, Ngong, Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Mlolongo), quantify the available metals and correlate the metal contamination with concentration in soil obtained from the areas where the hens were feeding.

The concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cr, Zn, Cu and Fe were determined using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Cadmium was not found in any egg sample or soil sample analyzed. Lead contamination in eggs was detected only in Ngong with a concentration of about 0.0005ppm. It also revealed that the concentration of iron in soil was highest in Ngong (33.89 mg/kg) and lowest in Mukuru Kwa Njenga (14.0201 mg/kg). The concentration of Zinc in eggs in any given location was found to be highest for all the elements analyzed in each location, while the concentration of iron was found highest in soil from each of the areas investigated.

The study found out that there are heavy metal contaminants in hen eggs from the assessed areas. The study concluded that there exists some correlation between the heavy metal contaminants in Soil and that found in eggs. Further studies should be conducted around Nairobi so as to map out high risk areas and more toxic elements such as mercury and arsenic included and appropriate measures taken to curb any undesirable effects that may result from these contaminations.

Key Words: Heavy metals, contamination, hen eggs, correlation, AAS.

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