International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

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)


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.


  1. Wong C.S.C., Li X.D., Zhang G., Qi S.H. and Peng X.Z., Atmospheric depositions of heavy metals in the Pearl River Delta, China. Atmos. Env., 37, 767776 (2003)
  2. Khillare P.S., Balachandran S. and Meena B.R., Spatial and temporal variation of heavy metals in atmospheric aerosols of Delhi, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 90, 121 (2004)
  3. Lokeshappa B., Shivpuri K., Tripathi V. and Dikshit A. K., Assessment of Toxic Metals in Agricultural Produce, Food and Public Health, ), 24-29 (2012)
  4. Gratao P. L., Vara Prasad M. M., Cardoso P. F., Lea P. J., and Azevedo R. A., Phytoremediation: Green technology for the clean-up of toxic metals in the environment, Brazilian Journal of plant physiology, 17), 53 64, 2005)
  5. Chaney R.L., Malik M., Li Y.M., Brown S.L., Brewer E.P., Angle J.S. and Baker, A.J.M., Phytoremediation of soil metals, Environ. Biotechnol., 279284 (1997)
  6. Salt D.E., Blaylock M.J., Kumar N.P., Dushenkov V., Ensley, B.D., Chet, I., and Raskin, I., Phytoremediation: A novel strategy for the removal of toxic metals from the environment using plants, Biotechnol., 13, 468474 (1995)
  7. Glass D. J., Current market trends in phytoremediation, Internat. J. Phytoremed, ), 1, (1999)
  8. Vassil A.D., Kapulnik Y., Raskin I. and Salt, D.E., The role of EDTA in lead transport and accumulation by Indian mustard, Plant Physiol, 117, 447453 (1998)
  9. Davies B.E., Vaugham J., Lalor G.C., and Vutchkov M., Cadmium and zinc adsorption maxima of geochemically anomalous soils (Oxisols) in Jamaica, Chem. Spec.Bioavailab., 15, 5966, (2003)
  10. Srinivas J., Purushotham A.V. and Murali Krishna K.V.S.G, The effects of Heavy metals on Seed Germination and Plant Growth on Coccinia, Mentha and Trigonella Plant Seeds in Timmapuram, E.G. District, Andhra Pradesh, India, Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., (), 20-24 (2013)
  11. Nath T.N., The Status of Micronutrients (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn) in Tea Plantations in Dibrugarh district of Assam, India, Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., 2(6), 25-30 (2013)
  12. Naseem A., Malik N., Firoj H., Singh A.K., Patel D.K., Khan A.R. and Masihur R., Heavy Metal Assessment of Leachates of some Plastic Toys Purchased from Different Districts of UP, India, India, Int. Res. J. Environment Sci.,), 32-36 (2012)
  13. Chiroma T.M., Ebewele R.O. and Hymore F.K., Levels of Heavy Metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe and Cr) in Bushgreen and Roselle Irrigated with Treated and Untreated Urban Sewage Water, Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., 1), 50-55 (2012)
  14. Chaves de Melo E. E., Araujo do Nascimento C. W., Accioly A. M. and Queiroz Santos A. C., Phytoextraction and fractionation of heavy metals in soil after multiple applications of natural chelants, Sci. Agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.), 65), 61-68 (2008)
  15. Kibria M.G., Maniruzzaman M., Islam M. and Osman K.T., Effects of soil-applied lead on growth and partitioning of ion concentration in Spinaceaoleracea L. tissues, Soil & Environ., 29), 1 - 6 (2010)
  16. Mellem J. J., Baijnath H. and Odhav B., Bioaccumulation of Cr, Hg, As, Pb, Cu and Ni with the ability for hyperaccumulation by Amaranthusdubius, African Journal of Agricultural Research, ), 591-596 (2012)
  17. Sauerbeck D. R., Plant, element and soil properties governing plant uptake and availability of heavy metals derived from sewage sludge, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution227, 5758 (1991)
  18. Mohammed S.S. and Mohammed M.B., Analysis of Dumpsite soil pH in selected Dumpsites of Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria, Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., 1), 52-54 (2012)
  19. Jadia C. D. and Fulekar M. H., Phytotoxicity and remediation of heavy metals by fibrous root grass (sorghum), Journal of Applied Biosciences, 10, 491 499 2008)
  20. Adriano D.C., Trace elements in the terrestrial environment. Springer-Verlag Inc.: New York, 1 45 1986)
  21. Zhang F., Romheld V., Marschner H., Release of zinc mobilizing root exudates in different plant species as affected by Zn nutritional status, Journal of Plant Nutrition, 14, 675686 (1991)
  22. Finster M.E., Gray K.A. and Binns H.J., Lead levels of edibles grown in contaminated residential soils: a field survey, The Science of the Total Environment, (2003)
  23. Naser H. M., Shil N.C., Mahmud N.U., Rashid M. H. and Hossain K. M., Lead, cadmium and nickel contents of vegetables grown in industrially polluted and non-polluted areas of Bangladesh, Bangladesh J. Agril. Res., 34), 545-554, (2009)
  24. Carlton-Smith C. H. and Devis R. D. Comparative uptake of heavy metals by forage crops grown on sludge-treated soils. Proc. Int. Conf. Heavy Metals in the Environment. , Heidelberg, CEP consultants Ltd., Edinburgh, U.K., 3933 1983)
  25. Demi rezen, D. and Aksoy, A., Heavy metal levels in vegetables in turkey are within safe limits for Cu, Zn, Ni and exceeded for Cd and Pb, Journal of Food Quality, 29, 252265 (2006)
  26. Blaylock M., Salt D., Dushenkov S., Zakharova O., Gussman C., Kapulnik Y., Ensley B. and Raskin I., Enhanced accumulation of Pb in Indian Mustard by soil applied chelating agents, Environ. Sci. Technol., 31, 860-865 (1997)
  27. Alam M.G.M., Snow E.T., Tanaka A., Arsenic and heavy metal contamination of vegetables grown in Samta village, Bangladesh, The Science of the Total Environment, 308,8396 (2003)
  28. Ernst W.H.O., Verkleji J.A.C. and Schat H., Metal tolerance in plants. Acta Bot Neerl, 41, 229-248 (1992)
  29. Cosio C., Martinoia E. and Keller C., Hyperaccumulation if cadmium and zinc in Thlaspicaerulescens and Arabidopsis halleri at the leaf cellular level, Plant Physiol, 134, 716- 725 (2004)
  30. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Acts and Rules, Government of India, (2004)