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Aim: To determine the levels of Cd, Zn, Pb and Fe in some branded canned lager beers and burukutu (native beer) samples. To compare the prevalence of these metals in the two types of beers in order to proffer recommendations about the contamination of liquor with the metals.
Study Design: The work was descriptive.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biochemistry, University of Jos; National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, Zaria (Nigeria) from 10th March-10th April, 2017.
Methodology: 10 samples of burukutu were obtained from different sellers within Kugiya market Jos South Local Government Area, Nigeria. 10 samples each, of branded canned lager beers were purchased from the market and they included A®, B®, C®, and D®. To analyse the samples for the metals, atomic absorption spectrophotometry was applied.
Results: Mean concentrations (mg/litre), of Cd, Fe, Pb (in branded beers) and Zn ranged from: 0.011 to 0.037±.54; 0.404 to 1.645±.24; 0.120 to 0.215±.75 and 0.017 to 0.088±.76 respectively. Compared to the respective standard reference values for drinking water for each metal, the levels in the branded canned lager beers samples were all higher (p=.05). In the case of burukutu, mean levels of Cd, Fe and Zn were also higher (P=.05) relative standard reference value. Contamination with the metals was higher in branded canned lager beers (pH 5.3) than in burukutu (pH 3.2) which should be contaminated more because it is more acidic. Cd and Pb are implicated in cancers, brain damage, Fe predisposes to haemochromatosis; alcohol causes hepatitis, liver cirrhosis.
Conclusion: Based on these findings, drinkers of branded canned lager beers are more at risk of exposure to the combined toxicities of alcohol and the metals than drinkers of burukutu. Since both types of drinks are routinely consumed, better quality vessels, especially cans, should be used to check leaching of metals from wall of containers into the liquor. This will guarantee safer alcoholic beverages and hence the health of drinkers. P=.05 was considered significant.