Concentration levels of heavy metals in irrigation water and vegetables grown in peri-urban areas of Sanandaj, Iran

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Kurdistan Environmental Health Research Center, School of Health, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Deputy of Research, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Concentration and daily intake (DI) of heavy metals [lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu)] were investigated in four common edible vegetables including coriander, dill, radish root and radish leaf grown at peri-urban sites in Sanandaj, Iran. A total of 120 composite samples of vegetables were taken from ten vegetable farms during six months from May to October 2012. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) was used to estimate the levels of heavy metals. The results showed that Pb and Cr concentrations exceeded the safety limits given by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for human consumption with the exception of copper and cadmium that were lower than the permissible leveling in all of the samples. Furthermore, the results showed that there was a significant variation in the levels of these metals among the examined vegetables (P < 0.001). DI values for Pb, Cu, Cr and Cd could be 0.1, 1.5, 0.94 and 0.004 mg per day, respectively. As respect, DI values for Pb and Cd were also below the international guideline bases. Although Pb level was higher than the permissible standard, it seems that daily intake of these vegetables may not have detrimental health hazards to consumers.  

Keywords


1. Yang QW, Xu Y, Liu SJ, He JF, Long FY. Concentration and potential health risk of heavy metals in market vegetables in Chongqing, China. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2011; 74(6): 1664-9.

2. Bigdeli M, Seilsepour M. Investigation of metals accumulation in some vegetables irrigated with waste water in Shahre Rey-Iran and toxicological implications. American-Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci 2008; 4(1): 86-92.

3. Radwan MA, Salama AK. Market basket survey for some heavy metals in Egyptian fruits and vegetables. Food Chem Toxicol 2006; 44(8): 1273-8.

4. Song B, Lei M, Chen T, Zheng Y, Xie Y, Li X, et al. Assessing the health risk of heavy metals in vegetables to the general population in Beijing, China. J Environ Sci (China) 2009; 21(12): 1702-9.

5. Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall FM. Heavy metals in vegetables collected from production and market sites of a tropical urban area of India. Food Chem Toxicol 2009; 47(3): 583-91.

6. Nabulo G, Young SD, Black CR. Assessing risk to human health from tropical leafy vegetables grown on contaminated urban soils. Sci Total Environ 2010; 408(22): 5338-51.

7. Srinivas N, Rao SR, Kumar KS. Trace metal accumulation in vegetables grown in industrial and semi-urban areas-a case study. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 2009; 7(2): 131-9.

8. Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall FM. Heavy metal (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) contamination of vegetables in urban India: a case study in Varanasi. Environ Pollut 2008; 154(2): 254-63.

9. Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall FM. Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in Varanasi City, India. Environ Monit Assess 2008; 142(1-3): 269-78.

10. Adekunle IM, Olorundare O, Nwange C. Assessments of lead levels and daily intakes from green leafy vegetables of southwest Nigeria. Nutr Food Sci 2009; 39 (4): 413-22.

11. Demirezen D, Aksoy A. Heavy metal levels in vegetables in turkey are within safe limits for Cu, Zn, Ni AND exceeded FOR Cd AND Pb. Journal of Food Quality 2006; 29(3): 252-65.

12. Maleki A, Zarasvand MA. Heavy metals in selected edible vegetables and estimation of their daily intake in Sanandaj, Iran. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2008; 39(2): 335-40.

13. Zhuang P, McBride MB, Xia H, Li N, Li Z. Health risk from heavy metals via consumption of food crops in the vicinity of Dabaoshan mine, South China. Sci Total Environ 2009; 407(5): 1551-61.

14. Cui YJ, Zhu YG, Zhai RH, Chen DY, Huang YZ, Qiu Y, et al. Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables in an area near a smelter in Nanning, China. Environ Int 2004; 30(6): 785-91.

15. Ayers RS, Westcot DW. Water quality for agriculture. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 1985.

16. WHO, FAO. Report of the 24th session of the codex committee on nutrition and foods for special dietary uses. joint fao/who food standards programme codex alimentarius commission. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2003.

17. Fergusson JE. The heavy elements: chemistry, environmental impact, and health effects. London, UK: Pergamon Press; 1990.

18. Hibben CR, Hagar SS, Mazza CP. Comparison of cadmium and lead content of vegetable crops grown in urban and suburban gardens. Environmental Pollution Series B, Chemical and Physical 1984; 7(1): 71-80.

19. Gupta N, Khan DK, Santra SC. An assessment of heavy metal contamination in vegetables grown in wastewater-irrigated areas of Titagarh, West Bengal, India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2008; 80(2): 115-8.

20. Lui WX, Li HH, Li SR, Wang YW. Heavy metal accumulation of edible vegetables cultivated in agricultural soil in the suburb of Zhengzhou City, People's Republic of China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2006; 76(1): 163-70.

21. Igwegbe AO, Belhaj HM, Hassan TM, Gibali AS. Effect of a highway's traffic on the level of lead and cadmium in fruits and vegetables grown along the roadsides. Journal of Food Safety 1992; 13(1): 7-18. 

22. Akinyele IO, Osibanjo O. Levels of some trace elements in hospital diets. Food Chemistry 1982; 8(4):247- 51.

23. Turkdogan MK, Kilicel F, Kara K, Tuncer I, Uygan I. Heavy metals in soil, vegetables and fruits in the endemic upper gastrointestinal cancer region of Turkey. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2003; 13(3): 175-9.

24. Ahmad JU, Goni MA. Heavy metal contamination in water, soil, and vegetables of the industrial areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environ Monit Assess 2010; 166(1-4): 347-57.

25. Kumar SR, Agrawal M, Marshall F. Heavy metal contamination of soil and vegetables in suburban areas of Varanasi, India. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2007; 66(2):258- 66.

26. Stalikas CD, Mantalovas AC, Pilidis GA. Multielement concentrations in vegetable species grown in two typical agricultural areas of Greece. Sci Total Environ 1997; 206(1): 17-24.

27. Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission. Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, Codex Alimentarius Commission. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 1984.

28. China EPA. Maximum levels of contaminants in foods GB2762-2005. Beijing, China: China State Environmental Protection Administration; 2005.

29. Bahemuka TE, Mubofu EB. Heavy metals in edible green vegetables grown along the sites of the Sinza and Msimbazi rivers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Food Chemistry 1999; 66(1): 63-6.