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Investigation into Trace and Major Elements of “Hyire” (Kaolin) Widely used in Ghana Using Neutron Activation Analysis

Author(s): R.G. Abrefah | L.A. Sarsah | E. Mensimah | E. Ampomah-Amoako | R.B.M. Sogbadji | S.A. Birikorang

Journal: Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology
ISSN 2040-7459

Volume: 3;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 753;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Heavy metals | instrumental neutron activation analyses | trace elements

This study was conducted to investigate the occurrence and extent of potentially trace and major elements in kaolin, widely used in Ghana, using the Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) technique. Soil plays a vital role in human sustenance on earth. Different forms of soil have been used over the years to solve pertinent requirements of man. Kaolin, commonly referred to as “hyire” in Ghana, has been used by women during the delicate periods of their pregnancy and also by lactating mothers. This study has sought to conduct an analysis of the toxic elements that may be ingested by these pregnant women when they eat” hyire” using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) at the Ghana Research Reactor-1 facility. The study has shown that even though there are useful (major) elements present in the samples used, some toxic elements were also found to be beyond the Recommended Dietary Allowance for those elements. Recommendation has been made to request policy makers to regulate the production and use of “hyire” in order that pregnant women and their foetus are not exposed to effects of the toxic components detected. Industries have been encouraged to invest in this viable sector and to use modern technology to make the manufacturing of “hyire” more refined.
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