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Environ Monit Assess. 2006 Apr;115(1-3):1-22. Epub 2006 Feb 15.

Distribution of metals in the edible plants grown at Jajmau, Kanpur (India) receiving treated tannery wastewater: relation with physico-chemical properties of the soil.

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  • 1Ecotoxicology and Bioremediation, Environmental Sciences Division, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India. sinha_sarita@rediffmail.com


The implications of metal contamination of agricultural soils due to long term irrigation with treated industrial wastewater and their subsequent accumulation in the vegetables/crops growing on such soils has been assessed in an area of industrial complex, Jajmau, Kanpur (India). Physico-chemical properties of the soil were also studied. The soil and vegetables/crops were sampled from an area of 2100 acre agricultural land and analyzed for physico-chemical properties and metal accumulation in different parts of the plants. The comparison of the data of physico-chemical properties of control and contaminated soil showed that salinity, electrical conductivity, available phosphorous, sodium and potassium content (both water soluble and exchangeable) were found high in contaminated soil. The analysis of plant available metal content in the soil showed the highest level of Fe, which ranged from 529.02 to 2615 microg g(-1) dw and lowest level of Ni (3.12 to 10.51 microg g(-1) dw). The analysis of the results revealed that accumulation of toxic metal Cr in leafy vegetables was found more than fruit bearing vegetables/crops. Thus, it is recommended that the leafy vegetables are unsuitable to grow in such contaminated sites. It is important to note that toxic metal, Ni was not detected in all the plants. The edible part of the vegetables (under ground) such as, garlic (19.27 microg g(-1) dw), potato (11.81 microg g(-1) dw) and turmeric (20.86 microg g(-1) dw) has accumulated lowest level of toxic metal, Cr than leafy and fruit bearing vegetables. In some fruit part of vegetables such as, bitter gourd, egg plant, jack tree, maize and okra, the accumulation of Cr was not detected and may be grown in this area.

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