Distribution of heavy metals in habitation land-use soils with high ecological risk in urban and peri-urban areas

  • R. Kashyap
  • R. Sharma
  • S. K. UniyalEmail author
Original Paper


The study investigated spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils of urban, peri-urban and rural habitation land-uses, and the ecological risks associated with them in the Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. Soils of undisturbed forest were taken as control. A total of 72 soil samples were collected and assayed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer for cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, nickel and zinc. Positive correlations were observed between cadmium–chromium, cadmium–manganese, cadmium–nickel, chromium–manganese, chromium–nickel and manganese–nickel. Higher concentrations (mg/kg) of cadmium (4.956 ± 0.031), chromium (17.299 ± 0.567), manganese (76.473 ± 0.031) and nickel (82.225 ± 7.342) were recorded in urban land-use soils. Lead (44.882 ± 3.202) and zinc (192.613 ± 34.180) reported maximum values in peri-urban and rural land-use soils, respectively. Peri-urban and urban land-use soils were extremely polluted with loads of lead and cadmium, respectively. However, control site was contamination-free. High values of contamination factor and geo-accumulation index in urban and peri-urban land-use indicated contamination in order of cadmium > nickel and > zinc. Degree of contamination and associated ecological risk index were also high in urban and peri-urban as compared to rural and control soils.


Contamination Discriminant function analysis Ecological risk index Geo-accumulation Himalaya 



The authors express their gratitude to the Director CSIR-IHBT for the facilities and encouragement. Faculty and staff members of the High Altitude Biology Division are acknowledged for their support and valuable comments. We are also thankful to editor and two anonymous reviewer(s) for their positive comments and valuable suggestions, which improved earlier version of manuscript. This is IHBT communication number 4213.


The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, provided financial support via National Mission on Himalayan Studies through grant number GBPI/NMHS/HF/RA/2015-16, Project GAP-0199.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of the manuscript declare they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13762_2018_2203_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.High Altitude Biology DivisionCSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource TechnologyPalampurIndia

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