Bioaccumulation of arsenic and fluoride in vegetables from growing media: health risk assessment among different age groups

  • Tasneem G. Kazi
  • Kapil D. Brahman
  • Jameel A. Baig
  • Hassan I. Afridi
Original Paper


The current study was conducted to evaluate the arsenic (As) and fluoride (F) concentrations in growing media (stored rainwater and soil), of district Tharparkar, Pakistan. The bioaccumulation/transportation of As and F from growing media to different types of vegetables (wild cucumis, Indian squish and cluster bean) was evaluated. Total concentrations of As and F in stored rainwater samples were observed up to 585 μg/L and 32.4 mg/L, respectively, exceeding many folds higher than WHO provisional guideline values. The As and F contents in soil samples of nine agricultural sites were found in the range of 121–254 mg/kg and 115–478 mg/kg, respectively. The highest contents of As and F were observed in wild cucumis as compared to Indian squish and cluster bean (p < 0.05), grown in the same agricultural field. The bioaccumulation factors of As and F were to be > 4.00, indicating the high rate of transportation of As and F from growing media to vegetables. A significant positive correlation of As and F in vegetables with their concentrations in soil and water was observed (r > 0.60 with p < 0.05). The risk assessment elucidated that the population of different age group consuming local vegetables and drinking water contaminated with As and F may have adverse health effects.

Graphical Abstract


Arsenic Fluoride Water Soil Vegetable Bioaccumulation Estimated daily intake 



The authors are grateful for the financial support of the Higher Education commission (HEC), Islamabad, Pakistan (Pin # 2Ps1-182).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tasneem G. Kazi
    • 1
  • Kapil D. Brahman
    • 1
  • Jameel A. Baig
    • 1
  • Hassan I. Afridi
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre of Excellence in Analytical ChemistryUniversity of SindhJamshoroPakistan

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