Pollution Research Paper

Vol 37, Issue 1, 2018; Page No.(259-268)

ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METAL ACCUMULATION IN VEGETABLES FROM WASTEWATER IRRIGATED FARMS ON THE COPPERBELT PROVINCE IN ZAMBIA

INDRA SEN SINGH AND JEDAIAH MUSONDA

Abstract

The anthropogenic activities continuously increase heavy metal concentrations in soils. The increase of such contaminants above certain level may adversely affect plant, animal and human health. In this study, an investigation of heavy metal (Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Pb, and Cd) uptake in vegetables irrigated with wastewater and its concentration in respective soil and water samples are reported. The analysis was done using Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) at the Copperbelt University Mining and Geological laboratory. The levels of these metals were also compared with those of World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) recommended values. The Vegetables selected were Carrot (Daucas carrota Var Sativa), Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon, S. aethiopicum), Rape (Brassica Rapa var. rapifera) and Bondwe (Amaranthus spp). The results in vegetables revealed that Cadmium and Lead value exceeded the WHO/FAO recommend values, they ranged from 1.33 to 9.77 mg/kg (total dry weight [dw]) and 1.33 to 9.83 mg/kg dw, respectively. These higher than recommended values pose serious health risk to users. All the other heavy metals in vegetables were within the recommended values.

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