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West Indian Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 0043-3144


HOO FUNG, LA; RATTRAY, VR  and  LALOR, GC. Cadmium in Jamaican bush teas. West Indian med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.63, n.1, pp. 26-28. ISSN 0043-3144.

Samples of Jamaican plants used as bush teas were collected from households in high soil-cadmium (Cd) areas of central Jamaica and analysed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry for total cadmium and for cadmium extractable with a hot water brew as prepared for human consumption to determine their contribution to dietary cadmium exposure. The concentrations ranged from < 0.03 to 6.85 µg/g for total Cd, between 1 and 15% of which was extracted with a hot water brew. One cup (200 ml) of the teas examined was found to contain < 0.04-1.18 µg of Cd and would contribute 0.1 - 0.3 µg of Cd to a person's dietary intake. This is significantly below the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of 7 µg Cd/kg body weight established by theWorld Health Organization (WHO). While this suggests that bush tea consumption does not contribute significantly to the PTWI, some of the teas examined exceed the WHO recommendation of less than 0.3 mg/kg Cd for medicinal plants.

Keywords : Bush tea; cadmium; Jamaica.

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