Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 2512–2522 | Cite as

Metal content in edible crops and agricultural soils due to intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in Terras da Costa de Caparica (Portugal)

  • Fernando ReboredoEmail author
  • Manuela Simões
  • Celeste Jorge
  • Malva Mancuso
  • Jorge Martinez
  • Mauro Guerra
  • José C. Ramalho
  • Maria Fernanda Pessoa
  • Fernando Lidon
Research Article


Soils and different vegetable species in Costa de Caparica (Portugal) are subject to the intensive use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. Thus, the concentrations of As, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn were evaluated. Lettuce, spinach, and potatoes collected in station 9 cause reason for concern due to their high Pb concentrations close to 20 μg g−1 which is probably related to an intensive use of copper and iron sulphate fertilizers. Additionally, the consumption of Portulaca oleracea collected in stations 3 and 4 must be avoided due to the high concentrations of Zn, and even Cu. The derived estimated daily intake (EDI) dose of Zn will be a risk to human consumption if P. oleracea was the single basis of a soup, although the addition of other ingredients might lower the tolerable upper intake (TUI) value of 39 mg/day of P. oleracea, to admissible levels, i.e., not exceeding 25 mg/day. Pumpkin collected in station 1 contained 44.1 μg g−1 Cu and a TUI value of 9.8 mg/day, when the recommendation must not exceed 5.0 mg/day. In this context, it is strongly advised to not include this vegetable in household menus.


Agricultural soils Edible vegetables Food analysis Food composition Heavy metals Risk assessment 



The authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments.

Funding information

This work was supported by national funds from Fundacão para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) through the research units UID/GEO/04035/2013 (GeoBioTec), UID/AGR/04129/2013 (LEAF), and UID/FIS/04559/2013 (LIBPhys), as well as through the grant SFRH/BPD/92455/2013 (Mauro Guerra).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Reboredo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuela Simões
    • 1
  • Celeste Jorge
    • 2
  • Malva Mancuso
    • 3
  • Jorge Martinez
    • 4
  • Mauro Guerra
    • 5
  • José C. Ramalho
    • 1
    • 6
  • Maria Fernanda Pessoa
    • 1
  • Fernando Lidon
    • 1
  1. 1.GeoBioTec, Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia CivilLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Universidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  4. 4.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.LIBPHYS, Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  6. 6.Plant-Environment Interactions & Biodiversity Lab. (PlantStress & Biodiversity), Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, (LEAF), Dept. Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Território (DRAT), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA)Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa)OeirasPortugal

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