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Impact of chrysotile asbestos contaminated soil on foliar nutrient status of plants


Toxicity of asbestos in human body has been extensively documented but meager information is available regarding its effects on plants. In the present study asbestos contamination was monitored in soils collected at 0, 1, 2, 5 and 10 km (control) around an asbestos-cement factory. More asbestos contamination was found in soil collected close to factory. These soils were analyzed for organic carbon, EC, pH, available macronutrients (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) and micronutrients (Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn). With increasing asbestos contamination in soil slight increase in magnesium, iron and manganese accompanied by decrease in availability of other nutrients was found. Seeds of wheat, pea and mustard were sown in asbestos contaminated and control soil in pots. Decrease in the leaf nutrient content was found in plants grown in asbestos contaminated soil. The study reports adverse effects of chrysotile asbestos on foliar nutrient status of flora growing near asbestos-cement factory.

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Authors are thankful to Director, CSIR, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow for his keen interest in the study. Financial assistance from Ministry of Environment and Forests (Govt. of India), New Delhi is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to A. K. Trivedi.

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Trivedi, A.K., Ahmad, I. Impact of chrysotile asbestos contaminated soil on foliar nutrient status of plants. Ind J Plant Physiol. 18, 301–307 (2013).

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  • Asbestos
  • Chrysotile
  • Foliar nutrients
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients