Multivariate analysis and health risk assessment of heavy metal contents in foodstuffs of Durban, South Africa

Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Faiz Ahmed Ansari, Mahmoud Nasr, Mayuri Chabukdhara, Faizal Bux

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study presented a comprehensive analysis of heavy metal contents in foodstuffs and the associated health risk for the residential population in Durban, South Africa. The concentrations of elements in fruits and vegetables, respectively, were (in mg kg−1 dry weight) Cu, 0.52–1.47 and 0.27–2.25; Zn, 0.30–3.05 and 0.56–6.24, Fe, 1.70–22.60 and 0.73–44.90; Mn, 0.37–28.50 and 0.67–13.70; Cr, 0.47–1.47 and 0.37–3.06; Ni 0.03–1.14 and 0.11–2.5;, and Pb, 1.52–3.45 and 1.57–4.52. Multivariate analysis revealed that pineapple in fruits and turnip and carrot in vegetables contained remarkable components of trace metals. The target hazard quotient (THQ) values for heavy metals were arranged in the order of Pb > Mn > Cu > Ni > Zn > Cr. No potential health risks were reported for individual elements over a lifetime of exposure, except children’s exposure to Mn in pineapple and Pb in banana, orange small, guava, grape green, grape red, yellow-orange, and kiwifruit. The total THQ due to the dietary intake of multiple metals demonstrated unsafe limits in banana, pineapple, orange small, guava, grape green, grape red, yellow-orange, kiwifruit, and spinach leaf for children and pineapple for adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018



  • Daily intake
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Principal component analysis
  • Target hazard quotients
  • Toxic elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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