Usage of native plant species for traditional medicine or nutritional supplement is a popular practice among various cultures. But consumption of plants growing on polluted soil can cause serious human health hazard due to bioaccumulation of toxic heavy metals. Present study deals with the ecological and human health impact of heavy metals, in six native plant species with ethnobotanical significance growing at the largest chromite mine of India. Exchangeable, oxidizable, reducible and residual fractions of the metals in plant rhizosphere were analyzed. Only 2–6% of total Cr (270–330 mg/kg) and Ni (150–190 mg/kg) at the mining site is bioavailable. Cd showed highest bioavailability (~ 60%) in mining site posing very high ecological risk (1055–5291) followed by Ni (1297–2124) and Cr (309–1105). The heavy metals in the shoot of the targeted plants were about 0.7 to 80 times higher than the standard limit as per Indian statutory body. The total hazard quotient (THQ) by the consumption of plants growing in mining region was very high (> 1) and varied from 2.6 to 5.9 in adult and 0.6–1.3 in children, while in non-mining region the THQ of same plants indicates low risk (< 1). This study indicates THQ (adult) in the order of, Euphorbia hirta (5.9) > Calotropis procera (4.9) > Argemone mexicana (3.6) > Vernonia cinerea (3.5) > Pteridium latiusculum (3.4) > Tridax procumbens (2.6) through consumption pathway growing in mine soil. This study concludes that consumption of plants growing in heavy metal polluted soil should be avoided due to their potential health hazard.
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The first (Ad No. 2013 DR0064) and second author (Ad No. 2013DR0015) is indebted to the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad India, and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India, for providing research facilities and fellowship. We take this opportunity to thank Prof. S.K. Gupta, IIT(ISM) Dhanbad for his support in this study.
First and second author had received funding from ‘Ministry of Human Resource and Development’ and institutional fellowship from Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, India. All authors acknowledge ‘Department of Environmental Science and Engineering’ of Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, India, for providing research facilities.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
NA, the first author, has taken major role in sample collection, analysis, health risk assessment and interpretation of data, as well as drafting of manuscript. CA, the second and corresponding author, has taken major part in experiment, sampling design, design of research objectives, sample collection, analysis of samples, interpretation of results and contributed in drafting of manuscript. CA, has equal contribution to the first author. CR, has substantially contributed in improvement of the final manuscript by providing invaluable technical comments and suggestions. MBK, Research Guide of first author (NA), and taken a supervisory role in controlling the quality of laboratory analysis, providing laboratory facilities and instrumental in technical improvement of manuscript.
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Naz, A., Chowdhury, A., Chandra, R. et al. Potential human health hazard due to bioavailable heavy metal exposure via consumption of plants with ethnobotanical usage at the largest chromite mine of India. Environ Geochem Health 42, 4213–4231 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-020-00603-5