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Assessment of Heavy Metal and Pesticide Levels in Soil and Plant Products from Agricultural Area of Belgrade, Serbia

  • Mirjana MarkovićEmail author
  • Svjetlana Cupać
  • Rada Đurović
  • Jelena Milinović
  • Petar Kljajić
Article

Abstract

This study was aimed to assess the levels of selected heavy metals and pesticides in soil and plant products from an agricultural area of Belgrade, Serbia and to indicate possible sources and risks of contamination. Soil, vegetable, and fruit samples from the most important agricultural city areas were collected from July to November of 2006. Metal contents were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry, whereas pesticide residues were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry after extraction performed using solid-phase microextraction technique. Soil characterization based on the determination of selected physical and chemical properties revealed heterogeneous soils belonging to different soil groups. The concentrations of lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc in soil samples do not exceed the limits established by national and international regulations. Residues of the herbicide atrazine were detected in three soil samples, with levels lower than the relevant limit. The presence of other herbicides, namely prometryn, chloridazon, acetochlor, flurochloridone, and napropamide, was registered in some soil samples as well. Among the insecticides investigated in the soil, fenitrothion and chlorpyrifos were the only ones detected. In most of the investigated vegetable samples from the Obrenovac area, Pb and Cd contents are higher in comparison with the maximum levels, indicating the emission of coal combustion products from local thermal power plants as a possible source of contamination. Residue levels of some herbicides and insecticides (metribuzin, trifluralin, pendimethalin, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, and cypermethrin) determined in tomato, pepper, potato, and onion samples from Slanci, Ovča, and Obrenovac areas are even several times higher than the maximum residue levels. Inappropriate use of these plant protection products is considered to be the most probable reason of contamination. Because increased levels of heavy metals and pesticide residues found in plant products could pose a risk to consumers’ health, their continual monitoring before product distribution to city markets is indispensable.

Keywords

Atrazine Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Residue Bifenthrin Metribuzin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development (project Nos: TR-6890B, TR-20060, and TR-20041) and the Secretariat for Environmental Protection of the City Assembly of Belgrade. The authors gratefully acknowledge Mrs. Verica Roglić-Korica, Mr. Marinko Ilić, and Mr. Aleksandar Tomaši for their assistance in this study. Special thanks to Dr. Slobodan Milonjić for his valuable suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirjana Marković
    • 1
    Email author
  • Svjetlana Cupać
    • 2
  • Rada Đurović
    • 3
  • Jelena Milinović
    • 3
  • Petar Kljajić
    • 3
  1. 1.Chemical Dynamics LaboratoryThe Vinča Institute of Nuclear SciencesBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Pesticide and Environment Research InstituteBelgradeSerbia

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