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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 3, 2008 - Number 2 » Vegetable and fruits quality within heavy metals polluted areas in Romania


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Radu LĂCĂTUŞU1,2 , Anca-Rovena LĂCĂTUŞU1
1National Research & Development Institute for Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Environment Protection Bucharest, Blvd. Marasti, 61, 011464, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania;Tel: +004021 3184456/275; Fax: +004021 3184352; E-mail: radu@icpa.ro
2"Al. I. Cuza" University, Iassy

Vegetable and fruits quality within heavy metals polluted areas in Romania

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Abstract: There are, in Romania, three areas, Copşa Mica, Zlatna and Baia Mare, very strongly polluted with heavy metals caused by non-ferrous ores extraction and processing industry performed more than two centuries. Intensifying of these activities, especially in the last part of the twentieth century, most often without environment protection measures, has led to pollution of all environment components, particularly soil.
The soil cover in these three areas is composed of very contrasting soils in terms of origin, physical and chemical properties, fact that leads to a differentiate absorption of heavy metals in edible parts of vegetable and fruits. The soils belonging to these three zones are prevalent acid, with small areas covered by neutral or slight alkaline, oligo-mezo-basic soils. The humus and total nitrogen content level is different. Phosphorous and potassium soil supply is low, up to medium level. Loamy texture is dominant.
The heavy metals total contents in soil take up to 2.3 times (Cd), 1.7 times (Cu) and 2.1 times (Zn) the maximum allowable limits. The mobile forms contents are 4.2 times to 10.5 times higher than maximum allowable limits values. The most part of the cadmium total content in soils (63%) belongs to the soil solution, exchangeable colloidal complex and organic matter. The lead in soil solution and exchangeable colloidal complex represents only 13% from the total content. The most part of the lead is bounding by the organic matter.
In the edible part of the fresh root vegetables (carrots, radish, potatoes) high cadmium and lead contents were recorded, that exceeded up to 2.5 times, respectively 11 times, the maximum allowable limits. In leafy vegetables (lettuce, parsley, dill, orach) were recorded systematic contents of heavy metals higher than the normal, reaching up to 7 times for Cd, or 17 times for Pb higher than normal concentration.

Keyword: heavy metals, absorption, accumulation, pollution index, vegetables, fruits.


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