Accumulation of heavy metals in the vegetables grown in wastewater irrigated areas of Dehradun, India with reference to human health risk

  • A. K. ChopraEmail author
  • Chakresh PathakEmail author


The present study on accumulation of heavy metals in the vegetables viz. Beta vulgaris, Phaseolus vulgaris, Spinacea oleracea, and Brassica oleracea var. botrytis grown in the wastewater-irrigated soil near the Bindal river, Dehradun, has shown the maximum accumulation of metals for Pb (196.91 ± 8.13 mg/kg), Cu (36.75 ± 6.19 mg/kg), Zn (305.54 ± 14.30 mg/kg), Ni (125.48 ± 5.97 mg/kg), Cd (29.58 ± 4.26 mg/kg), and Cr (93.06 ± 3.25 mg/kg) in agricultural soil irrigated with wastewater. The enrichment factor of soil was maximum for Cr (8.74) and minimum for Cu (0.88). In case of vegetables, the concentrations of heavy metals were maximum for Pb (86.69 ± 6.69) in the flower of B. oleracea var. botrytis, Cu (33.49 ± 2.09) and Zn (161.86 ± 17.79) in the leaves of S. oleracea, Ni (80.72 ± 8.40) and Cd (23.19 ± 2.76), and Cr (57.18 ± 8.16) in the root of B. vulgaris grown in wastewater (WW)-irrigated soil. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for Cu (0.911) was maximum in S. oleracea and minimum for Pb (0.440) in B. vulgaris. The maximum daily intake of metals was found for Zn (0.059) in S. oleracea and minimum for Cd (0.008) in B. vulgaris. The human health risk index was found to be more than 1 for Pb and Cd. The long-term wastewater irrigation resulted in accumulation of heavy metals in vegetables which may cause potential health risks to consumers as these vegetables are sold in local markets of Dehradun city.


Heavy metals Enrichment factor Bioaccumulation factors Daily intake of metals Health risk index 



The University Grant Commission, New Delhi, India, is acknowledged for providing the financial support in the form of UGC research fellowship (F.7–70/2007 BSR) to Mr. Chakresh Pathak.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Environmental ScienceGurukula Kangri UniversityHaridwarIndia

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