Heavy Metal Load of Soil, Water and Vegetables in Peri-Urban Delhi

Peri-urban lands are often used for production of vegetables for better market accessibility and higher prices. But most of these lands are contaminated with heavy metals through industrial effluents, sewage and sludge, and vehicular emission.

Publication Type

Article

Experts

M. KUMAR, S. SINGH

Time Frame

2006

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Description

Vegetables grown in such lands, therefore, are likely to be contaminated with heavy metals and unsafe for consumption. Samples of vegetables i.e., spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.); soil and irrigation water were collected from 5 peri-urban sites of New Delhi to monitor their heavy metal loads. While heavy metal load of the soils were below the maximum allowable limit prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was higher in irrigation water and vegetable samples. The spinach and okra samples showed Zn, Pb and Cd levels higher than the WHO limits. The levels of Cu, however, were at their safe limits. Metal contamination was higher in spinach than in okra. Spatial variability of metal contamination was also observed in the study. Bio-availability of metals present in soil showed a positive relationship with their total content and organic matter content of soil but no relationship was observed with soil pH. Washing of vegetables with clean water was a very effective and easy way of econtaminating the metal pollution as it reduced the contamination by 75 to 100%.

Additional information

Publication Type

Article

Experts

M. KUMAR, S. SINGH

Time Frame

2006