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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Alloway BJ (2013) Heavy metals in soils. Am Geol Soc Bull 72:175–182
Aschale M, Sileshi Y, Kelly-Quinn M et al (2017) Pollution assessment of toxic and potentially toxic elements in agricultural soils of the city Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 98(2):234–243
Bowen HJM (1979) Environmental chemistry of elements. Academic press, New York, p 333
Brady J, Ayoko G, Martens W et al (2015) Development of a hybrid pollution index for heavy metals in marine and estuarine sediments. Environ Monit Assess 187(5):1–14
Chowdhury A, Maiti SK (2016) Assessing the ecological health risk in a conserved mangrove ecosystem due to heavy metal pollution: a case study from Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, India. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 22:1519–1541
da Silva FBV, do Nascimento CWA, Araújo PRM et al (2017) Soil contamination by metals with high ecological risk in urban and rural areas. Int J Environ Sci Technol 14(3):553–562
Edgell K (1988) USEPA Method Study 37, SW-846 Method 3050: acid digestion of sediment, sludge and soils. EPA Contract No. 68-03-3254, November 1998. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Frank J, Massey JR (2012) The Kolmogorov–Smirnov test for goodness of fit. J Am Stat Assoc 46(253):68–78
Gałuszka A, Migaszewski ZM, Dołęgowska S et al (2015) Geochemical background of potentially toxic trace elements in soils of the historic copper mining area: a case study from Miedzianka Mt., Holy Cross Mountains, south-central Poland. Environ Earth Sci 74(6):4589–4605
Giller KE, Witter EMSP (1998) Toxicity of heavy metals to microorganisms and microbial processes in agricultural soils: a review. Soil Biol Biochem 30:1389–1414
Giri S, Singh AK (2017) Human health risk assessment of agricultural soils based on heavy metals in mining areas of Singhbhum copper belt, India. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 23:1008–1027
Giri S, Singh AK, Mahato MK (2017) Metal contamination of agricultural soils in the copper mining areas of Singhbhum shear zone in India. J Earth Syst Sci 126:1–13
Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control of sediment ecological approach. Water Res 14:975–1000
HPTDC (2012) Tourism survey for the state of Himachal Pradesh (April 2011–March 2012), Final. Report. http://tourism.gov.in/sites/default/files/Other/Himachal%20Pradesh%20Final%20Report_%2. Accessed on 8 Feb 2018
Islam MdS, Ahmed MdK, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M et al (2015) Trace elements in different land-use soils of Bangladesh and potential ecological risk. Environ Monit Assess 187(9):587
Kashyap R, Sharma R, Uniyal SK (2018) Bioindicator responses and performance of plant species along a vehicular pollution gradient in western Himalaya. Environ Monit Assess 190:1–17
Krishna AK, Govil PK (2007) Soil contamination due to heavy metals from an industrial area of Surat, Gujarat, Western India. Environ Monit Assess 124(1–3):263–275
Kumar B, Verma VK, Naskar AK et al (2014) Bioavailability of metals in soil and health risk assessment for populations near an Indian chromite mine area. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 7039:917–928
Kuniyal JC (2002) Mountain expeditions: minimising the impact. Impact Environ R Assess 22:561–581
Kuniyal JC (2007) Trace gases behaviour in sensitive areas of the northwestern Himalaya—a case study of Kullu-Manali tourist complex, India. Indian J Radio Space Phys 36:197–203
Ma L, Sun J, Yang Z et al (2015) Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soils affected by mining activities around the Ganxi River in Chenzhou, Sourthern China. Environ Monit Assess 187(12):731
Mileusnic M, Mapani B, Kamona F (2015) Assessment of agricultural soil contamination by potentially toxic metals dispersed from improperly disposed tailings, Kombat mine Namibia. J Geochem Explor 144:409–420
Mirzaei R, Teymourzade S, Sakizadeh M et al (2015) Comparative study of heavy metals concentration in topsoil of urban green space and agricultural land-uses. Environ Monit Assess 187(12):741
Muller G (1969) Index of geo-accumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. Geo J 2:108–118
Nagajyoti PC, Lee KD, Sreekanth TVM (2010) Heavy metals, occurrence and toxicity for plants: a review. Environ Chem Lett 8:199–216
Ndungu CK, Bhardwaj SK (2016) Impact of mountain cropping systems on groundwater quality and soil accumulation of heavy metals in mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh in India. Nat Environ Pollut Technol 15(4):1221–1226
Ngole-Jeme VM (2016) Heavy metals in soils along unpaved roads in south west Cameroon: contamination levels and health risks. Ambio 45(3):374–386
NGT (2014) Judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding tourism impacts in the north-western Himalayas. http://www.greentribunal.gov.in/judgement239/finalorder.pdf
Pellizzari ED, Clayton CA, Rodes CE et al (1999) Particulate matter and manganese exposures in Toronto, Canada. Atmos Environ 33:721–734
Perkin-Elmer Corporation (1996) Analysis of soils and sediments: total cations. AY-3 in analytical methods for atomic absorption spectrophotometry, pp 136–137
Petrotou A, Skordas K, Papastergios G et al (2012) Factors affecting the distribution of potentially toxic elements in surface soils around an industrialized area of north western Greece. Environ Earth Sci 65(3):823–833
Rahman SH, Khanam D, Adyel TM et al (2012) Assessment of heavy metal contamination of agricultural soil around Dhaka export processing zone (DEPZ), Bangladesh: implication of seasonal variation and indices. Appl Sci 2:584–601
Raj D, Chowdhury A, Maiti SK (2017) Ecological risk assessment of mercury and other heavy metals in soils of coal mining area: a case study from the eastern part of a Jharia coal field, India. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 23:767–787
Sakram G, Machender G, Dhakate R et al (2015) Assessment of trace elements in soils around Zaheerabad town, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Ear Sci 73(8):4511–4524
Sharma S, Kuniyal JC (2016) Hydropower development and policies in India: a case of Himachal Pradesh in the northwestern Himalaya, India. Energy Sour Part B Econ Plan Policy 11(4):377–384
Sharma A, Uniyal SK (2016) Heavy metal accumulation in Pyrrosia flocculosa (D. Don) Ching growing in sites located along a vehicular disturbance gradient. Environ Monit Assess 188:547
Sharma NL, Kuniyal JC, Singh M et al (2011) Atmospheric ultrafine aerosol number concentration and its correlation with vehicular flow at two sites in the western Himalayan region: Kullu-Manali, India. J Earth Syst Sci 120(2):281–290
Skordas K, Papastergios G, Filippidis A (2013) Major and trace element contents in apples from a cultivated area of central Greece. Environ Monit Assess 185:8465–8471
SPCB (2013) State Pollution Control Board. 1-60. http://hpvidhansabha.nic.in/Home/DisplayQuestion.PDF/2754. Accessed 12 Feb 2018
Turekian KK, Wedepohl KH (1961) Distribution of the elements in some major units of the earth’s crust. Geol Soc Am Bull 72(2):175–192
USEPA (1986) Test methods for evaluating solid waste. In: Laboratory manual physical/chemical methods, vol lA, 3rd ed, SW-846. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
Wagner NJ, Hlatshwayo B (2005) The occurrence of potentially hazardous trace elements in five Highveld coals, South Africa. Coal Geol 63:228–246
WHO (1981) International programme on chemical safety, environmental health criteria 17. World Health Organization, Geneva
Wuana RA, Okieimen FE (2011) Heavy metals in contaminated soils: a review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. ISRN Ecol 2011:1–20
Xu Z, Li J, Pan Y et al (2016) Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in a replaced urban industrial area of Qingdao, China. Environ Monit Assess 188(4):229
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.
Conflict of interest
The authors of the manuscript declare they have no conflict of interest.
Editorial responsibility: R Saravanan.
Electronic supplementary material
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
About this article
Cite this article
Kashyap, R., Sharma, R. & Uniyal, S.K. Distribution of heavy metals in habitation land-use soils with high ecological risk in urban and peri-urban areas. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 16, 8093–8106 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-018-02203-4
- Discriminant function analysis
- Ecological risk index