Isaac Scientific Publishing

Environmental Pollution and Protection

Metal Contamination in Cultivated Vegetables and Agricultural Soils Irrigated with Untreated Industrial Wastewater

Download PDF (372 KB) PP. 15 - 22 Pub. Date: March 28, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/epp.2017.21003


  • U.S. Banerjee*
    Department of Environmental Science, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag 713104, West Bengal, India
  • S. Gupta
    Department of Environmental Science, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag 713104, West Bengal, India


The present study was conducted to determine the metal contamination in cultivated vegetables and agricultural soils irrigated with untreated industrial wastewater. Untreated industrial wastewaters pose a serious threat to ecosystem health and therefore, to check metal contamination in soil, eco-toxicological assessment of industrial effluents is necessary. The study deals with the characterization of effluent released from various industries and distribution of heavy metals in soil near to effluent discharge channel. The samples were analyzed for physico-chemical parameters using standard laboratory procedures and giving prime thrust to determine the heavy metal concentrations (Pb, Cd, Mn, Cu and Cr) of wastewater. The five heavy metals in the wastewater irrigated soil viz. Pb, Cd, Mn, Cu and Cr were detected in most of the samples (mg/kg) ranged from 29.347–49.358, 0.169–2.265, 75.786–95.228, 2.852–15.532, 26.969– 49.245 respectively. Enrichment of metals in wastewater irrigated soil sample ranged between 1.467–2.468 (Pb), 0.563–7.550 (Cd), 0.089–0.112 (Mn), 0.063–0.345 (Cu), and 0.300–0.547 (Cr). The soil of the agricultural land showed significant enrichment with Pb and Cd indicating inputs from industrial sources. From the above study, it has been found that the wastewaters at various locations are rich in essential micronutrients (Mn and Cu) and have a good pH for agricultural use. The high values for Cd BCF may be explained by the fact that Cd is easily absorbed by plants. The depth wise study showed that metal concentrations were in higher magnitude at top-soil zone in comparison to sub-soil zone both in affected and control soils. The investigation showed pronounced metal contamination of agricultural soils irrigated with untreated industrial wastewater.


Metal contamination, industrial wastewater, enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index, bioconcentration factor


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