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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 550

Estimation of cancer risk due to exposure to lead contamination in Thai Ayurveda products

1 Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Biological Science, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication10-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
B Joob
Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.178426

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How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Estimation of cancer risk due to exposure to lead contamination in Thai Ayurveda products. Indian J Cancer 2015;52:550

How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Estimation of cancer risk due to exposure to lead contamination in Thai Ayurveda products. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 5];52:550. Available from:


Contamination in Ayurveda pharmaceutical products becomes the big problem in alternative medicine at present. As noted by Mukherjee et al., “traditional systems of medicines need more evidence-based studies on both crude drugs and purified phytomolecules.”[1] According to the previous report by Joob and Wiwanitkit, a number of studied local products in Thailand had bacterial contamination.[2] In general, not only microbial but also chemical contaminations are an important problem. Lead is a heavy metal that is usually seen in Ayurveda products.[3] Acute lead poisoning due to intake of the contaminated product is reported.[4] Nevertheless, the chronic problem due to lead exposure such as carcinogenesis should be studied. Here, the authors assess cancer risk from oral intake of lead contaminated Thai Ayurveda pharmaceutical products using the cancer risk assessment technique as previously published by Wiwanitkit.[5] For calculation, individual lifetime cancer risk is assessed by “concentration of contaminated lead in Ayurveda product × lifetime unit risk factor.” The referencing unit risk factor of lead is equal to 1.2 × 10−5 m 3/μg ( and the reported concentration of lead contamination in Thai local product is equal to 22.7 ppm or 22.7 × 103 μg/kg (referencing lead density equal to 11,340 kg/m 3;[6] According to this basic information, the derived individual lifetime cancer risk is equal to 3089. Nevertheless, according to the recent study on 205 product samples collected from 8 provinces in Thailand, the possibility of lead contamination is equal to 0.49%.[6] Giving the mentioned chance, the estimated cancer risk of a person due to oral intake of any product is equal to 15.1. This rate is considered significantly lower than risk due to other contaminations such as that recently reported in case of arsenic (data to be published in the Journal of Nephropharmacology). To assess the risk due to the contaminated Ayurveda product is an important key to guarantee the safety.

  References Top

Mukherjee PK, Venkatesh P, Ponnusankar S. Ethnopharmacology and integrative medicine – Let the history tell the future. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2010;1:100-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Bacterial contamination in Thai Ayurveda products. Anc Sci Life 2015;34:179.  Back to cited text no. 2
Genuis SJ, Schwalfenberg G, Siy AK, Rodushkin I. Toxic element contamination of natural health products and pharmaceutical preparations. PLoS One 2012;7:e49676.  Back to cited text no. 3
Breeher L, Mikulski MA, Czeczok T, Leinenkugel K, Fuortes LJ. A cluster of lead poisoning among consumers of Ayurvedic medicine. Int J Occup Environ Health 2015;2049396715Y0000000009. [Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 4
Wiwanitkit V. Contamination of arsenic species in rice and the calculation for risk of cancer. J Cancer Res Ther. [Epub ahead of print]. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 Sep 07].  Back to cited text no. 5
Klinsoonthorn N, Noodsathapana C, Mapradit P. Survey of quality of Ayurveda product in public health region 4 and 5. J Med Sci Dept 2014;56:40-51.  Back to cited text no. 6


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