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Study of Uptake of Pb and Cd by Three Nutritionally Important Indian Vegetables Grown in Artificially Contaminated Soils of Mumbai, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Environmental Studies, SIWS College, Wadala, Mumbai, MS, INDIA Environmental Assessment Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay, Mumbai, MS, INDIA Board of Colleges and Teachers Development, Pune University, Pune, MS, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 2, Issue (9), Pages 53-59, September,22 (2013)

Abstract

The ability of nutritionally important vegetable species as heavy metal accumulators was assessed. The root, stem and leaf content of the two metals lead and cadmium in the three plant varieties Spinach (Spinaciaoleracea), Fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graecum) and Red Amaranth (Amaranthuscruentus) was determined using pot experiments. Metal analysis was done using AAS. The metal concentration in different tissues varied according to plant part, type of metal, soil properties, morphological differences in plants, physiological differences in terms of heavy metal content, omission, increased uptake, foliarabsorption, etc. Highest metal concentration was reported in roots of all three plant varieties. Red Amaranth and Spinach showed higher tendency to accumulate lead and cadmium respectively. Among the two metals, Pb was accumulated more than Cd indicating plant affinity towards Pb. Transfer factor index also gave supporting values. None of the transfer factor exceeded 1 showing that none of the three species are hyperaccumulators. But they are certainly accumulating metals in its tissues. The root to shoot translocation factors concluded that metals are getting retained in roots and minimum levels are getting transferred in shoot parts. This indicates that roots which are insignificant for dietary intake of humans contain maximum quantities of heavy metal. Whereas the leaves that are nutritionally important for humans accumulate low levels of metals. Lead concentration in leaves of Red Amaranth and Spinach exceeded Indian standards. While lead concentration in Fenugreek and cadmium concentration in all the three vegetables was detected to be within the prescribed limits. This shows that elevated levels of Cd in soil may not add it significantly in human food chain but the same for Pb may raise its concentration in plants thereby increasing its toxicity.

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