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  • Chem Sci Trans., 2018, 7(1),  pp 130-136  

    DOI:10.7598/cst2018.1440

    Research Article

    Assessment of Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury Levels in Earthenware Clay Deposits at Mankessim, in Mfantsiman District, Ghana

  • B. V. SAMLAFO
  • Department of Chemistry Education, University of Education, Winneba, Box 25, Winneba, Ghana
  • Abstract

    This study assessed the suitability of Mankessim clay deposits as the raw material for earthenware products in terms of toxic metal levels such as Hg, Pb and Cd and As, which impact on human health. Atomic absorption spectrometric (AAS) technique was used to determine the levels of the toxic metals in the samples. The mean levels of Hg, Pb and Cd, were within the safe limit levels. Cadmium was however below the method?s detection limit at four sites. The mean Arsenic level was generally very high; however, this level was lower than the levels reported in some geophagy clays which were eaten directly. The precision and the accuracy of the analytical method (AAS) were evaluated by the use of standard reference material IAEA-Soil-7. The values obtained for the various elements in soil-7 compared favourably well with the recommended values as Spearman?s correlation coefficient was +0.94. The experimental values were within ?6% of the recommended value. The measurement precision defined by the relative standard deviation was within +5%. Arsenic was found to be generally high in the study site. Potters need to find ways of reducing arsenic levels before using the raw material for any product that comes into contact with food.

    Keywords

    Mankessim, Earthenware, Clay, Toxic metals, Geophagy, Pottery

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