Heavy metal signatures in urban and peri-urban agricultural soils across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India

Abstract

Millennium Development Goals recognized the contribution of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) towards food security, income generation, and livelihood strategies. Given the scarcity of relevant data, the present study was conducted to assess heavy metal load of UPA soils (at 0.00–0.20, 0.20–0.60 and 0.60–1.00 m depth) in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India by comparing the signatures from soil profiles of three railway gardens (RG1–3) and three farms (F1–3) over 2 years. Potential human health risks of consuming produce from these soils were assessed using the contamination factor, degree of contamination, pollution load index (PLI), enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index (Igeo), and total metal and element content in comparison with different safety standards. Semi-sequential extractions were performed to determine the concentration of available elements and heavy metals for plants. The total concentration of heavy metals (Cr, Ni, and Sr) exceeded the critical thresholds in all surface soils, while the contribution of water-soluble and exchangeable fractions of Cu, Fe, Co, and Cr was negligible across the selected gardens. At the same soil depth, the PLI was highest for RG3 (3.6) at 0.00–0.20 m depth and lowest in RG2 (1.2). The Igeo value for individual elements ranged from 0.08 to 0.12 (Ni), 0.06 to 0.12 (Cr), 0.07 to 0.10 (Zn), 0.10 to 0.18 (Cu), and 0.24 to 0.34 (Co), whereas the value for Mn was 0.01 similar in all gardens. The soil pollution assessments by these indices revealed moderate to considerable (chromium and strontium) heavy metal contamination and accumulation, however, the origin of these metals remain unclear.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Abdu N, Agbenin JO, Buerkert A (2011a) Geochemical assessment, distribution and dynamics of trace elements in urban agricultural soils under long-term wastewater irrigation in Kano, northern Nigeria. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 174:447–458

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Abdu N, Agbenin JO, Buerkert A (2011b) Phytoavailability, human risk assessment and transfer characteristics of cadmium and zinc contamination from urban gardens in Kano, Nigeria. J Sci Food Agric 91:2722–2730

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Abdu N, Abdulkadir A, Agbenin JO, Buerkert A (2011c) Vertical distribution of heavy metals in wastewater-irrigated vegetable garden soils of three West African cities. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 89:387–397

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Abdulkadir A, Leffelaar PA, Agbenin JO, Giller KE (2013) Nutrient flows and balances in urban and peri-urban agroecosystems of Kano, Nigeria. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 95:1–24

    Google Scholar 

  5. Abrahim GMS, Parker RJ (2008) Assessment of heavy metal enrichment factors and the degree of contamination in marine sediments from Tamaki Estuary, Auckland, New Zealand. Environ Monit Assess 136:227–238

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Alloway BJ (1995) Origin of heavy metals in soils. In: Alloway BJ (ed) Heavy metals in soils, 2nd edn. Blackie Academic Publisher, London, pp 38–57

    Google Scholar 

  7. Awashthi SK (2000) Prevention of food adulteration Act no. 37 of 1954. Central and State Rules as amended for 1999, 3rd edn. New Delhi

  8. Bischoff WA, Siemens J, Kaupenjohann M (1999) Solute leaching into groundwater—a comparison of field methods considering preferential flow. Wasser Boden 51:37–42

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Black GR, Hartge KH (1986) Bulk density. In: Klute A (ed) Methods of soil structure and migration of colloidal materials soils, vol 26. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 297–300

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cabrera F, Clemente L, Dıaz Barrientos E, López R, Murillo JM (1999) Heavy metal pollution of soils affected by the Guadiamar toxic flood. Sci Total Environ 242:117–129

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Chabalala VP, Wagner N, Potgieter-Vermaak S (2011) Investigation into the evolution of char structure using Raman spectroscopy in conjunction with coal petrography; part 1. Fuel Process Technol 92:750–756

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Cheng KL, Bray RH (1951) Determination of calcium and magnesium in soil and plant material. Soil Sci 72:449–458

    Google Scholar 

  13. Chittleborough DJ (1991) Indices of weathering for soils and palaeosols formed on silicate rocks. Aust J Earth Sci 38:115–120

    Google Scholar 

  14. Cui YJ, Zhu YG, Zhai RH, Chen DY, Huang YZ, Qiu Y, Liang JZ (2004) Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables in an area near a smelter in Nanning, China. Environ Int 30:785–791

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Datta DK, Subramanian V (1998) Distribution and fractionation of heavy metals in the surface sediments of the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna river system in the Bengal basin. Environ Geol 36:93–101

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Ensink JH, Mahmood T, Dalsgaard A (2007) Wastewater-irrigated vegetables: market handling versus irrigation water quality. Trop Med Int Health 12:2–7

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Ezedinma C, Chukuezi C (1999) A comparative analysis of urban agricultural enterprises in Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Environ Urb 11:135–146

    Google Scholar 

  18. Feenstra S, Hussain R, Van der Hoek W (2000) Health risks of irrigation with untreated urban wastewater in the southern Punjab, Pakistan. Report No. H026997, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

  19. Fernandes L, Nayak GN, Ilangovan D, Borole DV (2011) Accumulation of sediment, organic matter and trace metals with space and time, in a creek along Mumbai coast, India. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 91:388–399

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Gee GW, Or D (2002) Particle-size analysis. In: Dane JH, Topp GC (eds) Methods of soil analysis, part 4. Physical methods. Soil Science Society of America Inc., Wisconsin, pp 255–293

    Google Scholar 

  21. Ghosh M, Singh SP (2005) A comparative study of cadmium phytoextraction by accumulator and weed species. Environ Pollut 133:365–371

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Ghosh AK, Bhatt MA, Agrawal HP (2012) Effect of long-term application of treated sewage water on heavy metal accumulation in vegetables grown in Northern India. Environ Monit Assess 184:1025–1036

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control. A sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001

    Google Scholar 

  24. Hill K, Quinnelly DD, Kazmierowski K (2007) Urban agriculture in Naga city. Cultivating sustainable livelihoods. In: Planning report for Naga City Council, June 2007

  25. Kabata-Pendias A, Mukherjee AB (2007) Trace elements from soil to human. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  26. Kabata-Pendias A, Pendias H (2011) Trace elements in soils and plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  27. Khan S, Cao Q, Zheng YM, Huang YZ, Zhu YG (2008) Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environ Pollut 152:686–692

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Krishna KA, Govil PK (2005) Heavy metal distribution and contamination in soils of Thane–Belapur industrial development area, Mumbai, Western India. Environ Geol 47:1054–1061

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Liu WH, Zhao JZ, Ouyang ZY, Söderlund L, Liu GH (2005) Impacts of sewage irrigation on heavy metal distribution and contamination in Beijing, China. Environ Int 31:805–812

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Loska K, Cebula J, Pelczar J, Wiechuła D, Kwapuliński J (1997) Use of enrichment, and contamination factors together with geoaccumulation indexes to evaluate the content of Cd, Cu, and Ni in the Rybnik water reservoir in Poland. Water Air Soil Pollut 93:347–365

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Loska K, Wiechuła D, Korus I (2004) Metal contamination of farming soils affected by industry. Environ Int 30:159–165

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. MacLean WH, Kranidiotis P (1987) Immobile elements as monitors of mass transfer in hydrothermal alteration; Phelps Dodge massive sulfide deposit, Matagami, Quebec. Econ Geol 82:951–962

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Mahoney JJ, Sheth HC, Chandrasekharam D, Peng ZX (2000) Geochemistry of flood basalts of the Toranmal section, northern Deccan Traps, India: implications for regional Deccan stratigraphy. J Petrol 41:1099–1120

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. McLaughlin MJ, Lofts S, Warne MSJ, Amorim MJB, Fairbrother A, Lanno R et al (2010) Derivation of ecologically based soil standards for trace elements. In: Merrington G, Schoeters I (eds) Soil quality standards for trace elements: derivation, implementation, and interpretation. Taylor & Francis, New York, pp 7–80

    Google Scholar 

  35. Mougeot LJ (ed) (2005) Agropolis: the social, political, and environmental dimensions of urban agriculture. IDRC, London

    Google Scholar 

  36. Ndjigui PD, Bilong P, Bitom D, Dia A (2008) Mobilization and redistribution of major and trace elements in two weathering profiles developed on serpentinites in the Lomié ultramafic complex, South-East Cameroon. J Afr Earth Sci 50:305–328

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  37. Obuobie E, Keraita B, Danso G, Amoah P, Cofie OO, Raschid-Sally L, Drechsel P (2006) Irrigated urban vegetable production in Ghana: characteristics, benefits and risks. http://www.cityfarmer.org/GhanaIrrigateVegis.html. Accessed 5 June 2012

  38. O’Hare G, Abbott D, Barke M (1998) A review of slum housing policies in Mumbai. Cities 15:269–283

    Google Scholar 

  39. Olsen S, Cole C, Watanabe F, Dean L (1954) Estimation of available phosphorus in soil by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. USDA. Circular No. 939. US Government Print Office, Washington, DC, USA

  40. Pierzynski GM, Sims JT, Vance GF (2005) Soils and environmental quality. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  41. Predotova M, Gebauer J, Diogo RVC, Schlecht E, Buerkert A (2010a) Emissions of ammonia, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from urban gardens in Niamey, Niger. Field Crops Res 115:1–8

    Google Scholar 

  42. Predotova M, Bischoff WA, Buerkert A (2010b) Mineral-nitrogen and phosphorous leaching from vegetable gardens in Niamey, Niger. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 174:47–55

    Google Scholar 

  43. Raschid-Sally L, Carr R, Buechler S (2005) Managing wastewater agriculture to improve livelihoods and environmental quality in poor countries. Irrig Drain 54:S11–S22

    Google Scholar 

  44. Rattan RK, Datta SP, Chhonkar PK, Suribabu K, Singh AK (2005) Long-term impact of irrigation with sewage effluents on heavy metal content in soils, crops and groundwater—a case study. Agric Ecosyst Environ 109:310–322

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  45. Ray R, Sheth HC, Mallik J (2007) Structure and emplacement of the Nandurbar–Dhule mafic dyke swarm, Deccan Traps, and the tectonomagmatic evolution of flood basalts. Bull Volcan 69:537–551

    Google Scholar 

  46. Rolland Y, Cox S, Boullier AM, Pennacchioni G, Mancktelow N (2003) Rare earth and trace element mobility in mid-crustal shear zones: insights from the Mont Blanc Massif (Western Alps). Earth Planet Sci Lett 214:203–219

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. Ruel M, Haddad L, Garrett JL (1999) Some urban facts of life: implications for research and policy. World Dev 27:1917–1938

    Google Scholar 

  48. Safi Z, Buerkert A (2012) Heavy metal and microbial loads in sewage irrigated vegetables of Kabul, Afghanistan. J Agric Rural Dev Trop Subtrop 112:29–36

    Google Scholar 

  49. Sayadi MH, Sayyed MRG, Kumar S (2010) Short-term accumulative signatures of heavy metals in river bed sediments in the industrial area, Tehran, Iran. Environ Monit Assess 162:465–473

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. Schiere H, Van der Hoek R (2001) Livestock keeping in urban areas: a review of traditional technologies based on literature and field experience, vol 151. Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO), Rome

    Google Scholar 

  51. Shakeri A, Moore F, Modabberi S (2009) Heavy metal contamination and distribution in the Shiraz industrial complex zone soil, South Shiraz, Iran. World Appl Sci J 6:413–425

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Sheth HC (1999) A historical approach to continental flood basalt volcanism: insights into pre-volcanic rifting, sedimentation, and early alkaline magmatism. Earth Planet Sci Lett 168:19–26

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  53. Shotbolt LA, Rothwell JJ, Lawlor AJ (2008) A mass balance approach to quantifying Pb storage and fluxes in an upland catchment of the Peak District, north-central England. Earth Surf Process Landf 33:1721–1741

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  54. Sinem Atgin R, El-Agha O, Zararsız A, Kocataş A, Parlak H, Tuncel G (2000) Investigation of the sediment pollution in Izmir Bay: trace elements. Spectrochim Acta Part B 55:1151–1164

    Google Scholar 

  55. Singare PU, Mishra RM, Trivedi MP (2012) Sediment contamination due to toxic heavy metals in Mithi River of Mumbai. Adv Anal Chem 2:14–24

    Google Scholar 

  56. Singh A, Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall F (2009) Effects of wastewater irrigation on physicochemical properties of soil and availability of heavy metals in soil and vegetables. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 40:3469–3490

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  57. Sinha A (2009) Agriculture and food security: crises and challenges today. Soc Act 59:1–16

    Google Scholar 

  58. Smith AH, Lingas EO, Rahman M (2000) Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh: a public health emergency. Bull World Health Organ 78:1093–1103

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  59. Sridhara CN, Kamala CT, Samuel SRD (2008) Assessing risk of heavy metals from consuming food grown on sewage irrigated soils and food chain transfer. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 69:513–524

    Google Scholar 

  60. Ting FT (1978) Petrographic techniques in coal analysis. In: Karr C (ed) Analytical methods for coal and coal products. Academic Press, London, pp 3–26

    Google Scholar 

  61. Tokalioglu S, Kartal S, Birol G (2003) Application of a three stage sequential extraction procedure for the determination of extractable metal contents in highway soils. Turk J Chem 27(3):333–346

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. Tomlinson DL, Wilson JG, Harris CR, Jeffrey DW (1980) Problems in the assessment of heavy-metal levels in estuaries and the formation of a pollution index. Helgol Meeresunters 33:566–575

    Google Scholar 

  63. Toth SJ, Prince AL (1949) Estimation of cation exchange capacity and exchangeable Ca, K and Na contents of soils by flame photometer techniques. Soil Sci 67:435–439

    Google Scholar 

  64. UN (2010) World urbanization prospects—the 2009 revision. United Nations (UN), New York

    Google Scholar 

  65. Vazhacharickal PJ, Buerkert A (2011) Sustainable cities: an overview of the urban and peri-urban agricultural production in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Leituras de Econ Pol 19:69–87

    Google Scholar 

  66. Vazhacharickal PJ, Predotova M, Chandrasekharam D, Bhowmik S, Buerkert A (2013) Urban and peri-urban agricultural production along railway tracks: a case study from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. J Agric Rural Dev Trop Subtrop 114:145–157

    Google Scholar 

  67. Verma K (2011) On revival path, Thakurli unit to get back power after 23 years. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/on-revival-path-thakurli-unit-to-get-back-power-after-23-years/765418. Accessed 23 Nov 2012

  68. Walkley A, Black IA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–38

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  69. Wilke B (2005) Determination of physical and chemical soil properties. In: Margesin R, Schinner F (eds) Manual for soil analysis, monitoring and assessing soil bioremediation. Springer, Berlin, pp 47–95

    Google Scholar 

  70. World Bank (2013) Historic assessment of spatial growth of the metropolitan areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Dhaka. Earth observation for development. World Bank, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  71. Yadav AK, Tandon V (1989) Prevalence of nematode eggs in the urban area of the city of Shillong, India—a public health problem. Health Hyg 10:158–161

    Google Scholar 

  72. Yaroshevsky AA (2006) Abundances of chemical elements in the Earth’s crust. Geochem Int 44:48–55

    Google Scholar 

  73. Zimmerman AJ, Weindorf DC (2010) Heavy metal and trace metal analysis in soil by sequential extraction: a review of procedures. Int J Anal Chem 2010:1–7

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the cooperation of the UPA gardeners in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and for funding of this study by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through the International Centre of Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at University of Kassel, Germany. We thank Fiat Panis Foundation (Ulm, Germany) for providing a scholarship and research funding to the first author. For technical analysis and support thanks go to the Department of Earth Sciences, IITB and the staff at the Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility (SAIF, IITB) and the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA, IITB) in Mumbai, India. The lab assistance of Mrs. Eva Wiegard and Claudia Thieme at Kassel University is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are also thankful for the comments and support from Prof. Dr. Andreas Buerkert, Dr. Martina Predotova, Dr. Alexandra zum Felde, Dr. Christoph Steiner, and Dr. Salini Sasidharan.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Prem Jose Vazhacharickal.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3306 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Vazhacharickal, P.J., Gurav, T. & Chandrasekharam, D. Heavy metal signatures in urban and peri-urban agricultural soils across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 115, 295–312 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-018-9966-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Enrichment factor
  • Geogenic
  • Pollution load index
  • Wastewater use