, Volume 184, Issue 11, pp 6673-6682
Date: 02 Dec 2011

Heavy metal accumulation in vegetables grown in a long-term wastewater-irrigated agricultural land of tropical India

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In the present study, the magnitude of contamination of vegetables with heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr, Cu and Zn) was determined in a long-term wastewater-irrigated agricultural land. Heavy metal concentrations in vegetables were several folds higher in wastewater-irrigated site compared to clean water-irrigated area. The wastewater-irrigated crops analysed in this study are heavily contaminated with heavy metals. Concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr in all the sewage-fed vegetables were beyond the safe limit of FAO/WHO and Indian standard. Contamination is at its highest level in radish and spinach. Daily intake values of Pb, Cd and Ni through consumption of sewage-fed vegetables exceeded the recommended oral dose of metal for both adult and children. The study concludes that wastewater irrigation led to accumulation of heavy metals in vegetables causing potential health risk to consumers.