A Quantitative Analysis of the Uptake of Heavy Metals into Common Garden Vegetables from Contaminated Soils

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Eight common garden vegetables grown in four different levels of contaminated soils were sampled and analyzed for copper, cadmium, nickel, and lead concentrations by atomic absorption spectrometry. Vegetables grown in soils with a higher concentration of the metals had significantly higher concentrations of metals in the edible portions of the plant than vegetables grown in soils with a lower metal concentration. At the 0.05 confidence level, beans, peas, and broccoli absorbed significantly more metal from the contaminated soil than the other vegetables tested. Carrots and beets absorbed significantly less metal than the other vegetables tested. All significant trials, those in which the metal concentration in the vegetables increased with increased metal concentration in the soil, were fitted to a linear model and many provided a good fit with an adjusted R2 greater than 0.900.


Schaeffer & Esbenshade. (2018). A quantitative analysis of the uptake of heavy metals into common garden vegetables from contaminated soils. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 92(2), 111. https://doi.org/10.5325/jpennacadscie.92.2.0111