Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 269–281 | Cite as

Metal contamination of soils and plants associated with the glass industry in North Central India: prospects of phytoremediation

  • Mayank VarunEmail author
  • Rohan D’Souza
  • João Pratas
  • Manoj S. Paul
Research Article



The effect of the glass industry on urban soil metal characterization was assessed in the area of Firozabad, India. A comprehensive profile of metal contamination was obtained in five zones each containing five specific sites.


Zn, Cd, and As showed a greater accumulation, whereas accumulation of Ni and Cu was high in limited samples. Positive correlation was found for the metal pairs Cu-Zn, Cu-Co, and Cu-Cr at P < 0.01. Moderate positive correlation was also observed between Zn-Co, Mn-Cd, Mn-As, Pb-As, and Ni-Cu at P < 0.05. Integrated contamination indices indicate that 60% of the sites were heavily contaminated while 28% were moderately contaminated. Phytoremedial potential of native flora (twenty herbs, three shrubs, and two grasses) was also assessed by analyzing their metal uptake. Individual elements displayed remarkably different patterns of accumulation in soils as well as in plants. Mn, Zn, Cu, and As were predominantly partitioned in shoots, Co and Cd in roots while Pb, Cr, and Ni almost equally between shoots and roots. Most plants exhibited capabilities in mobilizing Co, Pb, Cr, and Ni in the root zone.


Potential phytoextractors include Datura stramonium and Chenopodium murale while phytostabilizers include Calotropis procera and Gnaphalium luteo-album. Poa annua showed potential in both categories. None of the species showed phytoremedial potential for Co and Ni.


Glass industry Phytoextraction Phytostabilization Metal pollution Soil 



Financial support from University Grants Commission [F. no. 35-47/2008(SR)] is duly acknowledged.


  1. Baker AJM, Reeves RD, Hajar ASM (1994) Heavy metal accumulation and tolerance in British populations of the metallophyte Thlaspi caerulescens J. & C. Presl (Brassicaceae). New Phytol 127:61–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basta NT, Tabatabai MA (1992) Effect of cropping systems on adsorption of metals by soils: II. Effect of pH Soil Sci 153:195–204Google Scholar
  3. Comino E, Fiorucci A, Menegatti S, Marocco C (2009) Preliminary test of arsenic and mercury uptake by Poa annua. Ecol engin 35:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crnković D, Ristić M, Antonović D (2006) Distribution of Heavy Metals and Arsenic in Soils of Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro). Soil Sedimen Contam 15:581–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. D’Souza R, Varun M, Masih J, Paul MS (2010) Identification of Calotropis procera L. as a potential phytoaccumulator of heavy metals from contaminated soils in Urban North Central India. J Haz Mat 184:457–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. del Castilho P, Chardon WJ, Salomons W (1993) Influence of cattle-manure slurry application on the solubility of cadmium, copper, and zinc in a manured acidic, loamy-sand soil. J Environ Qual 22:689–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fitz WJ, Wenzel WW (2002) Arsenic transformation in the soil–rhizosphere–plant system, fundamentals and potential application of phytoremediation. J Biotechnol 99:259–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Halim M, Conte P, Piccolo A (2003) Potential availability of heavy metals to phytoextraction from contaminated soils induced by exogenous humic substances. Chemosphere 52:265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hartley W, Dickinson NM, Clemente R, French C, Pierce TG, Sparke S, Lepp NW (2009) Arsenic stability and mobilization in soil at an amenity grassland overlying chemical waste (St. Helens, UK). Environ Pollut 157:847–856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang R (1987) Environmental Pedology. Higher Education Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  11. Kavvadias V, Doula MK, Komnitsas K, Liakopoulou N (2010) Disposal of olive oil mill wastes in evaporation ponds: effects on soil properties. J Haz Mat 182:144–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Komnitsas K, Modis K (2009) Geostatistical risk estimation at waste disposal sites in the presence of hot spots. J Haz Mat 164:1185–1190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu Y (1984) Geochemistry of Elements. Academic Press (in Chinese), BeijingGoogle Scholar
  14. Lombi E, Zhao FJ, Dunham SJ, McGrath SP (2001) Phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soil: natural hyperaccumulation versus chemically enhanced phytoextraction. J Environ Qual 30:1919–1926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Martinez CE, McBride M (1998) Solubility of Cd2+, Cu2+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ in aged coprecipitates with amorphous iron oxides. Environ Sci Technol 32:743–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McGrath SP, Zhao FJ (2003) Phytoextraction of metals and metalloids from contaminated soils. Curr Opin Biotech 14:277–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McLaughlin MJ, Hamon RE, McLaren RG, Speir TW, Rogers SL (2000) Review: a bioavailability based rationale for controlling metal and metalloid contamination of agricultural in Australia and New Zealand. Aust J Soil Res 38:1037–1086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mellem JJ, Baijnath H, Odhav B (2009) Translocation and accumulation of Cr, Hg, As, Pb, Cu and Ni by Amaranthus dubius (Amaranthaceae) from contaminated sites. J Environ Sci Heal 44:568–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mendez MO, Maier RM (2008) Phytostabilization of mine tailings in arid and semiarid environments—an emerging remediation technology. Environ Heal Perspect 116:278–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Miller WP, Martens DC, Zelazny LW (1987) Short-term transformations of copper in copper-amended soils. J Environ Qual 16:176–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Modis K, Komnitsas K (2007) Optimum sampling density for the prediction of acid mine drainage in an underground sulphide mine. Mine Water Environ 26:237–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pedron F, Petruzzelli G, Barbafieri M, Tassi E (2009) Strategies to use phytoextraction in very acidic soil contaminated by heavy metals. Chemosphere 75(6):808–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Piper CS (1966) Soil and Plant Analysis. Interscience Publisher, N.Y, BombayGoogle Scholar
  24. Probst A, Liu H, Fanju M, Liao B, Hollande E (2009) Response of Vicia faba L. to metal toxicity on mine tailing substrate: geochemical and morphological changes in leaf and root. Environ Exp Bot 66:297–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Psaras GK, Manetas Y (2001) Nickel localization in seeds of the metal hyperaccumulator Thlaspi pindicum Hausskn. Ann Bot 88:513–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Raskin I, Kumar PBAN, Dushenkov S, Salt DE (1994) Bioconcentration of heavy metals by plants. Curr Opin Biotechnol 5:285–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Salt DE, Blaylock M, Kumar NPBA, Viatcheslav D, Ensley BD (1995) Phytoremediation a novel strategy for the removal of toxic metals from the environment using plants. Biotechnol 13:468–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Saraswat S, Rai JPN (2009) Phytoextraction potential of six plant species grown in multimetal contaminated soil. Chem Ecol 25(1):1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sauve S, McBride MB, Norvell WA, Hendershot WH (1997) Copper solubility and speciation of in situ contaminated soils: effects of copper level, pH and organic matter. Water Air Soil Pollut 100:133–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. SEPAC [State Environmental Protection Administration of China] (1995) Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils (GB15618-1995).Google Scholar
  31. Shannon RD (1976) Revised effective ionic radii and systematic studies of interatomic distances in halides and chalcogenides. Acta Cryst 32:751–767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sparks DL (2003) Environmental soil chemistry, 2nd edn. Academic press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  33. Tamás J, Kovács A (2005) Vegetation pattern and heavy metal accumulation at a mine tailing at Gyöngyösoroszi, Hungary. Z Naturforsch C 60(3–4):362–7Google Scholar
  34. Tiwari KK, Dwivedi S, Singh NK, Rai UN, Tripathi RD (2009) Chromium (VI) induced phytotoxicity and oxidative stress in pea (Pisum sativum L.): biochemical changes and translocation of essential nutrients. J Environ Biol 30:389–394Google Scholar
  35. Turner AP (1994) The responses of plants to heavy metals. In: Ross SM (ed) Toxic Metals in Soil-Plant Systems. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, pp 153–187Google Scholar
  36. Uraguchi S, Watanabe I, Yoshitomi A, Kiyono M, Kuno K (2006) Characteristics of cadmium accumulation and tolerance in novel Cd-accumulating crops, Avena strigosa and Crotalaria juncea. J Exp Bot 57(12):2955–2965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vamerali T, Bandiera M, Mosca G (2010) Review: Field Crops for phytoremediation of metal-contaminated land. Environ Chem Lett 8:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Varun M, D’Souza R, Kumar D, Paul MS (2011a) Bioassay as monitoring system for lead phytoremediation through Crinum asiaticum L. Environ Monit Assess 178:373–381Google Scholar
  39. Varun M, D’Souza RJ, Pratas J, Paul MS (2011b) Evaluation of phytostabilization, a green technology to remove heavy metals from industrial sludge using Typha latifolia L. Biotechnol Bioinf Bioeng 1(1):137–145Google Scholar
  40. VROM (Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment), Ministerial circular on target and intervention values for soil remediation. Annex A: target values, soil remediation intervention values and indicative levels for serious contamination, DBO/1999226863, February 4, 2000.Google Scholar
  41. Whitehead DC (2000) Nutrient Elements in Grasslands: Soil-Plant-Animal Relationships. CABI Publishing, WallingfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu S, Tao S (2004) Coregionalization analysis of heavy metals in the surface soil of Inner Mongolia. Sci Tot Environ 320:73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yang B, Shu W, Ye Z, Lan C, Wong M (2003) Growth and Metal Accumulation in Vetiver and two Sebania species on Lead/Zinc Mine Tailings. Chemosphere 52:1593–1600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yoon J, Cao X, Zhou Q, Ma LQ (2006) Accumulation of Pb, Cu, and Zn in native plants growing on a contaminated Florida site. Sci Total Environ 368:456–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhuang PQ, Yang W, Wang HB, Shu WS (2007) Phytoextraction of heavy metals by eight plant species in the field. Water Air Soil Pollut 184:235–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayank Varun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rohan D’Souza
    • 1
  • João Pratas
    • 2
  • Manoj S. Paul
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanySt. John’s CollegeAgraIndia
  2. 2.Departmento de Ciências da TerraUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations