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Multiple factors impact the contents of heavy metals in vegetables in high nature background area of China

Gan, Yandong, Wang, Lihong, Yang, Guiqiang, Dai, Jiulan, Wang, Renqing, Wang, Wenxing
Chemosphere 2017
cadmium, case studies, chromium, copper, correlation, equations, food safety, fruiting, heavy metals, lead, models, nickel, planting, regression analysis, root vegetables, soil pH, surveys, tissues, zinc, China
A field survey was conducted to investigate the concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in vegetables, corresponding cultivated soils and irrigation waters from 36 open sites in high nature background area of Wuzhou, South China. Redundancy analysis, Spearman's rho correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were adopted to evaluate the contributions of impacting factors on metal contents in the edible parts of vegetables. This study concluded that leafy and root vegetables had relatively higher metal concentrations and adjusted transfer factor values compared to fruiting vegetables according to nonparametric tests. Plant species, total soil metal content and soil pH value were affirmed as three critical factors with the highest contribution rate among all the influencing factors. The bivariate curve equation models for heavy metals in the edible vegetable tissues were well fitted to predict the metal concentrations in vegetables. The results from this case study also suggested that it could be one of efficient strategies for clean agricultural production and food safety in high nature background area to breed vegetable varieties with low heavy metal accumulation and to enlarge planting scale of these varieties.