Lead in Vegetables Harvested from a Selected Barangay in Lepanto, Mankayan

Juliet G.Bullan  |  Darlie O. Mallare  |  Karen T. Ruiz
School of Natural Sciences
Dr. Benilda Z. Narcelles, Adviser


A large scale mining is operating in Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet. Dam tailings were built, where, during typhoons and heavy rains, the water level rises in the mine tailing dams resulting to leakage. This also results to spilling lead into the farmland near the dam where water for irrigation may come from. Lead is one of the chemicals used for purifying gold.  Deposition of it can affect the growth of vegetables and also affects human health if eaten. Thus, there is a need to determine and quantify lead in the soil, water and in the vegetables in Lepanto, Mankayan, especially near the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) was used to measure the concentration of lead from collected samples. Results of the samples tested showed a high level of lead content exceeding the allowable limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is 0.10ppm. The average concentrations of lead were: rice grains-4.5ppm; tomato-9.0ppm; kamote-7.33ppm; all indicate high levels of lead content. People who ingest the said foods have chances of suffering from lead toxicity. It is therefore recommended that the Municipality of Mankayan should take action regarding the contamination of vegetables with lead.

Keywords: Lead,  dam tailings,  contamination,  atomic  absorption  spectrophotometer, toxicity