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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1992 Feb;22(2):195-202.

Monitoring and assessment of mercury pollution in the vicinity of a chloralkali plant. IV. Bioconcentration of mercury in in situ aquatic and terrestrial plants at Ganjam, India.

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Department of Botany, Berhampur University, India.


In situ aquatic and terrestrial plants including a few vegetable and crop plants growing in and around a chloralkali plant at Ganjam, India were analyzed for concentrations of root and shoot mercury. The aquatic plants found to bioconcentrate mercury to different degrees included Marsilea spp., Spirodela polyrhiza, Jussiea repens, Paspalum scrobiculatam, Pistia stratiotes, Eichhornia crassipes, Hygrophila schulli, Monochoria hastata and Bacopa monniera. Among wild terrestrial plants Chloris barbata, Cynodon dactylon, Cyperus rotundus and Croton bonplandianum were found growing on heavily contaminated soil containing mercury as high as 557 mg/kg. Analysis of mercury in root and shoot of these plants in relation to the mercury levels in soil indicated a significant correlation between soil and plant mercury with the exception of C. bonplandianum. Furthermore, the tolerance to mercury toxicity was highest with C. barbata followed by C. dactylon and C. rotundus, in that order. The rice plants analyzed from the surrounding agricultural fields did not show any significant levels of bioconcentrated mercury. Of the different vegetables grown in a contaminated kitchen garden with mercury level at 8.91 mg/kg, the two leafy vegetables, namely cabbage (Brassica oleracea) and amaranthus (Amaranthus oleraceous), were found to bioconcentrate mercury at statistically significant levels. The overall study indicates that the mercury pollution is very much localized to the specific sites in the vicinity of the chloralkali plant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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