Influence of greenhouse cultivation on the heavy-metal contaminations of vegetables in sewage-irrigated farmland

Authors: CHUN CAO*, College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China;Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA, Mei-Po Kwan, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, USA, Huan Chen, Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Clemson University, South Carolina , United States
Topics: China, Soils, Environmental Science
Keywords: Heavy metal contamination Vegetable-growing farmlands Bioaccumulation Health risk assessments
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The suburban vegetable farmland plays an important role in the sustainability of urban development. However, in recent decades, rapid urbanization and industrialization as well as the improper use of agrochemicals, have caused the serious heavy-metal pollution in vegetable farmland in China. In 2015, the central government issued a special fund of 3.6 billion Chinese yuan to support the heavy-metal managements in the seriously-polluted areas in 30 cities, including Baiyin City at Gansu Province. Here, we collected the samples of water, soil, and vegetables in the farmlands located in the suburbs of Baiyin City, Gansu Province to study the transport of heavy metals (As、Cd、Cr、Cu、Ni、Pb, and Zn) from soils to root (belowground) and then to aboveground. The results showed that the water, soil and vegetables in the sewage irrigation farmlands were seriously polluted by As and Cd, especially in the Dongdagou farmlands where industrial wastewater was used for irrigation. The aboveground heavy metal concentrations were higher than or equal to the heavy metal concentrations in the belowground. Compared with traditional cultivation, the greenhouse cultivation reduced the enrichment factor of heavy metals in vegetables, the heavy metal concentrations of vegetables, and the health risks of ingestion. This study suggests that greenhouse cultivation is effective in alleviating the ingestion risks of heavy metal in vegetables growing in sewage irrigation farmland.

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