Abere, S.A ,Ideriah, T.J.K , and Emerhi E.A.
The concentrations of lead (Pb) and Total Hydrocarbon (THC) in bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) and pumpkin (Telfairia ocidentalis) collected along roadsides in Port Harcourt and environs were determined using GBC Avanta flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer version 2.02 for Pb and Spectrophotometer 21D for THC. The highest concentrations of Pb in bitter leaf were 12.56mg/kg in the dry season and 10.05mg/kg in the rainy season while the highest concentrations of THC in bitter leaf were 25,114mg/kg in the dry season and 20,950mg/kg in the rainy season. The highest concentrations of Pb in pumpkin were 8.28mg/kg in the dry season and 7.08mg/kg in the rainy season while the highest concentrations of THC in pumpkin were 15,784mg/kg in the dry season and 13,768mg/kg in the rainy season. The concentrations of Pb and THC in bitter leaf were higher than the concentrations in pumpkin. Similarly the concentrations measured in the dry season were higher than the concentrations measured during the rainy season. The differences between the dry and rainy seasons concentrations were significant (P<0.05). The differences in THC concentrations between bitter leaf and pumpkin were significant (P<0.05) while the case of Pb concentrations were not significantly different (P>0.05). The concentrations of THC in bitter leaf and pumpkin were considered high while the concentrations of Pb exceeded tolerable and natural limits. The concentrations of Pb and THC in the plants were influenced by traffic densities, season and ages of the plants. Thus the raw consumption of exposed vegetables from markets and roadside farms is discouraged.
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