Heavy Metal Content in Chinese Vegetable Plantation Land Soils and Related Source Analysis

Key Laboratory of Agro-Environment & Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture/Institute of Agricultural Environment and Sustainable Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R. China
Agricultural Sciences in China (Impact Factor: 0.82). 09/2008; 7(9):1115-1126. DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(08)60154-6


According to the previous literature published since 1989, statistical analysis for reported data on the heavy metals in Chinese vegetable plantation soils was carried out systematically in this article. The purpose of this investigation was to study the status of heavy metal content in vegetable land soils systematically through objective assessment to promote the development of vegetable production with high quality and efficiency. It is concluded that Zn, Cr, Cu had relatively high concentrations while the mean concentrations of toxic metals, As, Hg, Cd were 8.03, 0.12, 0.28 mg kg−1, respectively with comparatively low concentrations in Chinese vegetable land. Comparing to Chinese Soil Quality Criterion GB 15618-1995 (6.5 < pH < 7.5), about 24.1, 10.3, and 9.2% of the total samples was contaminated by Cd, Hg, and As, respectively, and the descending order of heavy metals was Cd > Hg > As > Zn > Cu > Cr > Pb. When compared among different regions, the more serious heavy metal contamination was found in the vegetable land of eastern China and the main contamination elements were Cd, Hg, and Zn. In the mid region, vegetable plantation land soil was mainly polluted by As and Cd, as well as by Hg, Zn, and Cu, to some extent. In the west region of China, Cd and As contamination was also observed to some degree, along with few soil samples exceeding the grade II level of GB 15618-1995 (6.5 < pH < 7.5) for Cu, Cr, and Hg content. Compared to the five vegetable plantation land patterns, the highest concentration of As, Cd, Hg, and Zn occurred in the industrial/sewage irrigation vegetable land, especially for Hg with 2.36 mg kg−1 content averagely, which is 10.5-21.1 times higher than the other four types of vegetable lands. The highest concentration of Cu and Cr occurred in the greenhouse vegetable land soils, and urban vegetable land soil had the highest Pb content in comparison with the other types of vegetable plantation land patterns. By analyzing heavy metal content under different vegetable land patterns, it was found that soil in vegetable production base had relatively low heavy metal concentrations except for Pb with a slightly higher amount in the suburb area. The soil quality of common vegetable land was good with the lowest concentrations for most heavy metals. Under present utilization patterns of vegetable land, the soil quality in Chinese vegetable base land was good with comparatively low concentrations of heavy metals and mostly not exceeding the grade II level of Chinese Soil Quality Criterion GB 15618-1995 (6.5 < pH < 7.5). However, comparatively serious contamination was found in industrial/sewage irrigation and suburb vegetable land soils.

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    • "Many organic fertilizers, as well as animal manures can be major sources of heavy metals in vegetable soils (Tam and Wong 1995; Huang et al. 2006). The average contents of Cd and As in this study area were lower than the previously reported values for Chinese vegetable soils (Zeng et al. 2008), but the contents of Hg, Pb, Cu, and Zn were greater than the Chinese statistical average concentrations. The soil pH ranged from acidic to neutral (3.99–7.63), "
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing concern about food safety and environmental contamination due to potential health risks to consumers. The aims of this study are to elucidate the accumulation status, influencing factors, and potential risk of selected heavy metals in soils and vegetables from a typical greenhouse vegetable production system in China. The potential health risks of heavy metals through soil contact and vegetable consumption were evaluated for greenhouse and corresponding open field production. The results indicated that the mean concentrations of Hg, Pb, Cu, and Zn in greenhouse vegetable soils were greater than those in open field soils. Leaf vegetables had relatively higher concentrations and transfer factors of heavy metals than root and fruit vegetables, especially for Cd. The target hazard quotient of heavy metals through vegetable consumption was greater than 1 for leaf vegetables, and was also higher for greenhouse vegetables than those from open field. The risk of exposure to heavy metals through direct contact with soil and vegetable consumption was higher for children than for adults and seniors. Planting patterns with different vegetable types and soil properties can affect bioavailability and crop accumulation of heavy metals.
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    • "In recent years, vegetable production in China has surged rapidly. With rapid development, the quality of vegetables has gradually become critical, restricting the development of vegetable production [1] [2]. Greenhouse cultivation makes up a sizeable proportion of vegetable production. "
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