Muscle, liver and kidney of wild and domesticated grasscutters were analyzed in order to determine the Lead (Pb) and Cadmium (Cd) concentrations. Meat samples were obtained from four different origin. A total of twenty-four (24) samples were used. An atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) was used for the analysis after wet digestion of the samples with 1:3 Perchloric acid and Nitric acid. Data obtained were statistically analyzed using SAS. A randomized complete block design was used, with all treatments arranged in a 4×3×2 factorial. The levels (mg/kg, d.w.) of Pb and Cd obtained in (fresh and smoke-dried) muscle, liver and kidney samples were as follows: Pb (ND-0.513) (ND-0.154 and Cd (0.186-7.516) (0.277-2.723). Heavy metal concentrations were higher (p < 0.05) in fresh and smoke-dried muscle, liver and kidney of wild grasscutters than those levels found in domesticated grasscutters. However, Pb and Cd levels in fresh grasscutter samples were higher (p < 0.05) than those levels found in smoke-dried grasscutter samples. Cd concentration levels were higher than the recommended limits set by international regulations. Pb was not detected in domesticated grasscutters. Proper knowledge of public and health workers regarding hygienic and safe handling of bush meat as well as cutting off of infected parts, are highly recommended.
Key words: Cadmium, trace element, domestication, grasscutter, heavy metal, lead.
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