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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 323 - 329

Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil and Olive Trees (Olea europaea L.) in Suburban Areas of Tehran, Iran

A. Aghabarati, S.M. Hosseini and H. Maralian    

Abstract: The concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni were measured in the soil, fruits and leaves of Olea europaea L. irrigated with municipal effluent. In this study, site irrigated with municipal effluent and site irrigated with well water for 7 years were sampled for soil and plant chemical analysis to evaluate its long term effect. Samples of irrigation water, soil and leaves and fruits of olive were analyzed for Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni. Heavy metals in municipal effluent were higher than the standard (WHO). Irrigation with municipal effluent increased Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni in soil compared to well water. The mean heavy metal concentrations in topsoil were higher than the standard (FAO) for all heavy metals except Cr. Plant Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni increased with 7 years of wastewater irrigation. The study concludes that the use of municipal effluent for irrigation has increased the contaminated products of Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni in soil and plant, but the contaminated products of Zn, Cr and Ni in fruits were below the permissible limits of the standard except Pb, after 7 years from this practice. Based on these results, it can be concluded that proper management of municipal effluent irrigation and periodic monitoring of soil and plant quality parameters are required to ensure successful, safe, long-term municipal effluent irrigation.

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