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Assessing the impact of geogenic chromium uptake by carrots (Daucus carota) grown in Asopos river basin

Lilli, Maria A., Syranidou, Evdokia, Palliou, Andriana, Nikolaidis, Nikolaos P., Karatzas, George, Kalogerakis, Nicolas
Environmental Research 2017 v.152 pp. 96-101
Daucus carota, adverse effects, bacteria, carbon, carrots, chromium, composts, detection limit, endophytes, human health, humans, leaves, risk, risk assessment, soil, watersheds, Greece
A methodology was developed to assess the impact of geogenic origin hexavalent chromium uptake by carrots, and the risk of human consumption of carrots grown in Asopos River basin in Greece. A field scale experiment was conducted with carrots cultivated in treatment plots, with and without compost amendment, in order to assess the impact of carbon in the mobility and uptake of chromium by plants. The results suggested that there is a trend for chromium mobilization and uptake in the surface and the leaves of the carrots cultivated in the treatment plot with the higher carbon addition, but not in the core of the carrots. Limited mobility of hexavalent chromium in the soil-plant-water system is presented due to the affinity of chromium to be retained in the solid phase and be uptaken by plants. Hexavalent chromium tolerant bacterial strains were isolated from the carrots. These endophytic bacteria, present in all parts of the plant, were able to reduce hexavalent chromium to trivalent form to levels below the detection limit. Finally, a site-specific risk assessment analysis suggested no adverse effects to human health due to the consumption of carrots. These findings are of particular importance since they confirm that carrots grown in soils with geogenic origin chromium does not pose any adverse risk for human consumption, but could also have the beneficial effect of the micronutrient trivalent chromium.