Determination of Lead, Cadmium and, Mercury in Some Medicinal Plants and their User’s Urine Samples
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Department of Forensic Chemistry, College of Forensic Sciences, Naïf Arab University for Security Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Publication date: 2019-03-16
Eurasian J Anal Chem 2019;14(1):emEJAC191023
Herbal medicines constitute an important part of healthcare throughout the world. Although many benefits can be derived from the use of herbs, potential areas of concern include possible product contamination and/or adulterations and potential toxicity. This study evaluates the prevalence of toxic heavy metals, (Pb, Cd, and Hg), in medicinal herbs and their level in urine samples of users of these herbs. 5 different types of medicinal plants were collected from the herb market in Riyadh. A total of 60 urine samples, consisting of 30 users and 30 control, was collected and processed for the determination of toxic metals. The herbs were digested using (HNO3+HF+H2O2), while urine samples were digested with (HNO3+H2O2). The heavy metals content in herbs and urine samples were determined by AAS. The results showed that Cd and Pb concentration in medicinal herbs did not exceed the maximum permissible levels of WHO, while Hg exceeded the maximum permissible levels. On the other hand, the average concentration of Cd and Pb in urine samples was less than the maximum permissible levels of WHO, while the concentration of the Hg exceeded the maximum permissible levels of WHO indicating associated toxicity and risk of using these herbs as therapeutic agents. This study have proved that exposure to these metals through consumption of medicinal plants unsafe.