Skip to main content

Metal Contamination and Health Risk from Consumption of Organically Grown Vegetables Influenced by Atmospheric Deposition in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Region of India


Pot-culture experiments showed that organically grown Vicia faba, influenced by atmospheric deposition, accumulated (μg g−1) 0.088–3.246 Cadmium, 0.19–42.48 Chromium, 0.0124–30.43 Copper, 0.075–4.28 Lead and 0.63–67.68 Zinc. Similar trends appeared for Abelmoschus esculentus. At high deposition sites, Cadmium, Lead and Zinc exceeded the safe limits of Prevention of Food Adulteration standards. Health risk index for Cadmium, Copper and Lead exceeded the safe limits of United States Environmental Protection Agency. The study suggests that atmospheric deposition could substantially elevate metal levels in organically grown vegetables in 2011.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Rowland AP (1986) Chemical analysis. In: Moore PD, Chapman SB (eds) Methods in plant ecology. Blackwell Scientific Publication, Oxford, pp 285–344

    Google Scholar 

  2. Awasthi SK (2000) Prevention of food adulteration act 37 of 1954: central and state rules as amended for 1999, 3rd edn. Ashoka Law House, New Delhi

    Google Scholar 

  3. Azimi S, Chambier P, Lecuyer I, Thevenot D (2004) Heavy metal determination in atmospheric deposition and other fluxes in northern France agroecosystems. Water Air Soil Pollut 157:295–313

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Chanda GK, Bhunia G, Chakraborty SK (2011) The effect of vermicompost and other fertilizers on cultivation of tomato plants. J Hort Forestry 3(2):42–45

    Google Scholar 

  5. Kim G, Scudlark JR, Church TM (2000) Atmospheric wet deposition of trace elements to Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Atmos Environ 34:3437–3444

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lawlor AJ, Tipping E (2003) Metals in bulk deposition and surface waters at two upland locations in northern England. Environ Pollut 12(2):153–167

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Pandey J, Agrawal M (1994) Evaluation of air pollution phytotoxicity in a seasonally dry tropical urban environment using three woody perennials. New Phytol 126:53–61

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Pandey J, Pandey U (2009a) Accumulation of heavy metals in dietary vegetables and cultivated soil horizon in organic farming system in relation to atmospheric deposition in a seasonally dry tropical region of India. Environ Monit Assess 148(1):61–74

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Pandey J, Pandey U (2009b) Atmospheric deposition and heavy metal accumulation in organic farming system in a seasonally dry tropical region of India. J Sustain Agric 33(4):361–378

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Pandey J, Singh A (2012) Opportunities and constraints in organic farming: an Indian perspective. J Sci Res 56:47–72

    Google Scholar 

  11. Pandey J, Pandey R, Shubhashish K (2009) Air–borne heavy metal contamination to dietary vegetables: a case study from India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83(6):931–936

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Sweet CW, Weiss A, Vermette SJ (1998) Atmospheric deposition of trace elements at three sites near the Great Lakes. Water Air Soil Pollut 103:423–429

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Temmerman LD, Hoenig M, Scokart PO (1984) Determination of “normal” levels and upper limit values of trace elements in soils. J Plant Nutrient Soil Sci 147(6):687–694

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. USEPA, IRIS (2006) United States, environmental protection agency, integrated risk information system. December, 2006

  15. Voutsa D, Grimanis A, Samara C (1996) Trace elements in vegetables grown in an industrial area in relation to soil and air particulate matter. Environ Pollut 94:325–335

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Walker DJ, Clemente R, Roig A, Bernal MP (2003) The effects of soil amendments on heavy metal bioavailability in two contaminated Mediterranean soils. Environ Pollut 122:303–312

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Wong CSC, Li XD, Zhang G, Qi SH, Peng XZ (2003) Atmospheric depositions of heavy metals in the Pearl River Delta, China. Atmos Environ 37:767–776

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Xue ZJ, Liu SQ, Liu YL, Yan YL (2012) Health risk assessment of heavy metals for edible parts of vegetables grown in sewage-irrigated soils in suburbs of Boading City, China. Environ Monit Assess 184:3503–3513

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Zhuang P, McBride MB, Xia H, Li N, Li Z (2009) Health risk from heavy metals via consumption of food crops in the vicinity of Dabaoshan mine, South China. Sci Total Environ 407(5):1551–1561

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank Head, Department of Botany for facilities and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi for financial support.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jitendra Pandey.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Singh, A., Pandey, J. Metal Contamination and Health Risk from Consumption of Organically Grown Vegetables Influenced by Atmospheric Deposition in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Region of India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 384–389 (2012).

Download citation


  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Health risk
  • Metal
  • Organic farming