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ISSN: 2380-2391

Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
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  • Research Article   
  • J Environ Anal Chem 2018, Vol 5(1): 234
  • DOI: 10.4172/2380-2391.1000234

Heavy Metal Accumulation in Vegetables and Assessment of their Potential Health Risk

Abdul Latif1*, Muhammad Bilal2, Waleed Asghar3, Muhammad Azeem4, Muhammad Irfan Ahmad5, Asad Abbas6, Muhammad Zulfiqar Ahmad7 and Toufeeq Shahzad8
1School of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, Anhui, China
2Department of Agriculture, Soil and Water Testing Laboratory for Research, , Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, Pakistan
3School of Environment Sciences, Beijing Normal University, 100875, Beijing, China
4Department of Agriculture, Hazara University, Mansehra, KP, Pakistan
5School of Agronomy, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, Anhui, China
6School of Horticulture, Anhui Agriculture University, Hefei, China
7State Key Lab of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, College of Tea and Food science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
8School of Life Sciences, Anhui Agriculture University, Hefei, China
*Corresponding Author : Abdul Latif, School of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, Anhui, China, Tel: 008618256535512, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Mar 20, 2018 / Accepted Date: Mar 30, 2018 / Published Date: Apr 03, 2018


Vegetables constitute essential diet components by contributing carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, iron, calcium and other nutrients that are in short supply. The present study was conducted to evaluate vegetables such as leafy (spinach), melon (gourd, long gourd and pumpkin) and solonaceous (brinjal) for their potential to accumulate different heavy metals like Cadmium (Cd), Manganese (Mn), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn). The content of these metals was measured by using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Mean values were recorded against each vegetable for accumulating heavy metals. It was observed that maximum concentration of Mn (137.3 mg/kg), Cr (6.62 mg/kg) and Fe (968.25 mg/kg) was found in spinach, exceeding the allowed threshold 2.2 mg/kg, 2.3 mg/kg and 425 mg/kg respectively, as set by WHO/FAO. While melon showed great potential to absorb Ni (5.05 mg/kg) which elevated safe limit 0.1 mg/kg and Cu (65 mg/kg) was within the safe range. Brinjal displayed maximum absorption of Zn (41 mg/kg), which did not cross the WHO reference limit 73 mg/kg. In case of Cd both gourd and brinjal showed equal concentration of 0.39 mg/kg but was not at the safe limit 0.241 mg/kg. However levels of Pb were below the FAO/WHO recommended limits in all the vegetables. Low concentrations of Pb indicate that these plants contribute less toxic effects of metals. Overall this order of absorption was recorded as leafy˃melon˃solonaceous. Human DIM has also been computed and was observed below recommended values by the FAO/WHO. However, to prevent any chronic health risk and extent of heavy metal contamination, steps must be taken to reduce human activities at the sites. Regular monitoring of heavy metals in the vegetables grown in wastewater irrigated areas is also necessary.

Keywords: Heavy metals; Sewage water; Health risk; WHO/FAO limits; Daily intake

Citation: Latif A, Bilal M, Asghar W, Azeem M, Ahmad MI, et al. (2018) Heavy Metal Accumulation in Vegetables and Assessment of their Potential Health Risk. J Environ Anal Chem 5:234. Doi: 10.4172/2380-2391.1000234

Copyright: © 2018 Latif A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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