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Abstract

HEAVY METALS IN DIFFERENT INDIAN TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND THEIR HUMAN HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

Shekhar Suman*, Moumita Bhaumik and Subrata Kumar Dey

ABSTRACT

Heavy metals are mandatory for most organisms in trace amounts, but they can quickly become toxic when in higher concentrations or when they exist in non-native body locations. In this study, 5 brands of most popular tobacco products of India (Khaini, Zarda and three different Paan masala) were quantified by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy for the presence of these heavy metals As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Fe, Pb, Zn and Tl. The variations in metal concentration were observed in all tobacco samples. These heavy metals Cd, Cu, Fe, Zn and Tl were higher in Khaini, and followed by rest samples, but not beyond the toxic level. This could be due to the preferential metal enrichment during both chemical and physical processing in finished product. The concentrations of all heavy metals in all samples were below the permissible limits issued by Joint FAO/WHO Expert committee on Food Additives. But, there is a regular need of proper processing and monitoring for the presence of heavy metals, so that limited and controlled value of heavy metals may remain in them.

Keywords: Paan masala, Toxic Heavy metals, Micronuclei, Smokeless tobacco, Khaini, Zarda.


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