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Heavy metal contamination of soil and vegetables in suburban areas of Varanasi, India
Heavy metal contamination of soil resulting from wastewater irrigation is a cause of serious concern due to the potential health impacts of consuming contaminated produce. In this study an assessment is made of the impact of wastewater irrigation on heavy metal contamination of Beta vulgaris (palak); this is a highly nutritious leafy vegetable that is widely cultivated and consumed in urban India, particularly by the poor. A field study was conducted at three major sites that were irrigated by either treated or untreated wastewater in the suburban areas of Varanasi, India according to normal practice. Samples of irrigation water, soil, and the edible portion of the palak (Beta vulgaris L. var All green H1) were collected monthly during the summer and winter seasons and were analyzed for Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Mn, and Ni. Heavy metals in irrigation water were below the internationally recommended (WHO) maximum permissible limits set for agricultural use for all heavy metals except Cd at all the sites. Similarly, the mean heavy metal concentrations in soil were below the Indian standards for all heavy metals, but the maximum value of Cd recorded during January was higher than the standard. However, in the edible portion of B. vulgaris, the Cd concentration was higher than the permissible limits of the Indian standard during summer, whereas Pb and Ni concentrations were higher in both summer and winter seasons. Results of linear regression analysis computed to assess the relationsh
ISSN : 0147-6513 CODEN : EESADV
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety (Print) A. 2007, vol. 66, n° 2, pp. 258-266 [9 pages] [bibl. : 1/4 p.]
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