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Background Urban agriculture is potentially an important piece of the food security puzzle for a rapidly growing urban world population. Community gardening is also promoted as a safe and viable form of exercise for aging populations in crowded settings where opportunities to participate in other action activities may be limited. Knowledge of poten...

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... et al. (1971) later reported elevated concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn to be a growing concern for vegetable gardening in urban and industrial areas of Canada. Over the years, dozens of studies have examined the levels of these and other potentially harmful elements in urban and peri-urban soils worldwide (Table 1). The high element concentrations in the soils of many of the latter studies was often linked to legacy activities (e.g., Pb from paint; Cu, Pb, Zn from smelters and mines), trafficking phenomena (e.g., vehicle emissions, vehicle and tire wear), deposition following the release from a variety of urban and industrial sources, irrigation with wastewater, inter alia (Table 1; Additional file 1: Table S1). ...
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... the years, dozens of studies have examined the levels of these and other potentially harmful elements in urban and peri-urban soils worldwide (Table 1). The high element concentrations in the soils of many of the latter studies was often linked to legacy activities (e.g., Pb from paint; Cu, Pb, Zn from smelters and mines), trafficking phenomena (e.g., vehicle emissions, vehicle and tire wear), deposition following the release from a variety of urban and industrial sources, irrigation with wastewater, inter alia (Table 1; Additional file 1: Table S1). ...
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... concentrations in the soil are influenced by several factors: mineralogy and geochemical composition of the parent rock, organic element content, particle size distribution, soil horizonation, drainage, vegetation, management, and anthropogenic inputs (Kabata-Pendias 1993;Wuana and Okieiman 2011). The elevated presence of a PTE in an urban soil could be naturally part of the background geogenic signature or associated with Table 1 Ranges of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations reported for surface soils in (peri)urban garden soils worldwide (mg/kg; total/ pseudo-total concentrations) a Pertains to a range of means or a mean ± standard deviation; otherwise, entries are ranges (min-max) ...
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... trains, and shipping are also potential (2022) 3:60 sources of PTEs in urban gardens ( Vazhacharickal et al. 2013;Cruz et al. 2014;Laidlaw et al. 2018;Leitão et al. 2018). As shown in the Table 1, other common sources of elevated PTE presence in garden soils are the application of contaminated sludge or irrigation water ( Jamali et al. 2007;Abdu et al. 2011;Xue et al. 2012;Vazhacharickal et al. 2013) and element-based garden agrochemicals ( Waterlot et al. 2011;Tran et al. 2020;Zhong et al. 2022). ...
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... types of interesting sources of PTEs reported in Table 1 include plastics ( Wang et al. 2018), E-waste processes ( Luo et al. 2011), and war activities (Safi and Buerkert 2011). ...
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... focus on the presence of four PTEs (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) that are often associated with contamination in urban garden soils worldwide ( Xia et al. 2011;Kaiser et al. 2015; Table 1). These elements are also among the most studied in past assessments of urban contamination set in Singapore (discussed below). ...
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... deemed that ICP-OES and di-acid digestion approach was acceptable for the expected range of total concentrations that would indicate potential risk (Olesik 2020). Over the years, a variety of methods have been used to determine pseudo concentrations of PTEs in garden soils (summarized in Additional file 1: Table S1). ...
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... Tables 1 and 2 we list studies based on a firstorder ranking of level of contamination. For each study we calculate a composite score that is determined by awarding 1 point if the maximum value of an element exceeds the TRC; 2 points if the PRC is exceeded; and 3 points if the ERC is exceeded. ...
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... apparent combination of several activities/processes that contribute to the variable enrichment of particular PTEs makes Singapore different from several studies conducted in very contaminated urban environments (Table 1). Briefly, the sites in Table 1 are ordered informally according to general contamination level of four elements. ...
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... apparent combination of several activities/processes that contribute to the variable enrichment of particular PTEs makes Singapore different from several studies conducted in very contaminated urban environments (Table 1). Briefly, the sites in Table 1 are ordered informally according to general contamination level of four elements. The studies at the top of the table have concentrations that rarely exceed the conservative risk metrics we used herein (Table 4); the locations at the bottom of the table have concentrations for multiple PTE that exceed the ERC concentration indicating elevated risk. ...
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... studies at the top of the table have concentrations that rarely exceed the conservative risk metrics we used herein (Table 4); the locations at the bottom of the table have concentrations for multiple PTE that exceed the ERC concentration indicating elevated risk. Singapore sits at position 27 on this list of 142 entries (Table 1). Again, one should be careful in making literal distinctions among sites/studies owing to differences in methods, timing, and rationales for each study. ...
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... example, many early studies were conducted in areas where contamination from known activities was. Generally, soil PTE concentrations in gardens worldwide tend to be affected by legacy contamination from the following (Table 1): leaded paint and various construction materials used in old neighborhoods (e.g., Baltimore, Christchurch, London, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington DC), smelting/ mining (Baia Mare, Dalnegorsk, Gijon, Palmerton, Paris area) and unsafe waste disposal/usage in gardens as irrigation or fertilizer (Kampala, Paris, Marseille, New York, New Castle). The proximity to heavily used roads may also be an important source of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in gardens, for example, as is the case in Bristol, Cardiff, Hong Kong and New Orleans (Table 1). ...
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... soil PTE concentrations in gardens worldwide tend to be affected by legacy contamination from the following (Table 1): leaded paint and various construction materials used in old neighborhoods (e.g., Baltimore, Christchurch, London, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington DC), smelting/ mining (Baia Mare, Dalnegorsk, Gijon, Palmerton, Paris area) and unsafe waste disposal/usage in gardens as irrigation or fertilizer (Kampala, Paris, Marseille, New York, New Castle). The proximity to heavily used roads may also be an important source of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in gardens, for example, as is the case in Bristol, Cardiff, Hong Kong and New Orleans (Table 1). Older roads may have high levels of Pb stemming from past leaded petrol use. ...
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... is almost certainly superimposed on the signatures of the garden soil and may have a legacy signature associated with the age of the building complex. Management activities might be partly responsible for our finding of enriched Cu and Zn concentrations despite the coarse nature of the garden soils, as reported worldwide (Table 1). ...

Citations

... Pollution by potentially toxic elements (PTEs) is becoming a serious and widespread issue in all environmental matrices because of accelerated population growth rate, rapid industrialization and urbanization, and other changes which have occurred in most parts of the world in the last few decades [1][2][3]. The increasingly worrying concern about the presence of PTEs in the environment has attracted considerable attention due to their potential impacts on ecosystem functioning and on public health because of their persistence and biotoxicity [4,5]. ...
Article
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Pollution by potentially toxic elements (PTEs) is becoming a serious and widespread issue in all environmental matrices because of accelerated population growth rate, rapid industrialization and urbanization, and other changes which have occurred in most parts of the world in the last few decades [...]