Metal contamination of soils and plants associated with the glass industry in North Central India: prospects of phytoremediation
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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.
KeywordsGlass industry Phytoextraction Phytostabilization Metal pollution Soil
Financial support from University Grants Commission [F. no. 35-47/2008(SR)] is duly acknowledged.
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