Assessment of heavy metal contamination of agricultural soil around Dhaka export processing zone (DEPZ), Bangladesh: implication of seasonal variation and indices

Syed Hafizur Rahman, Dilara Khanam, Tanveer Mehedi Adyel, Mohammad Shahidul Islam, Mohammad Aminul Ahsan, Mohammad Ahedul Akbo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The role of heavy and trace elements in the soil system is increasingly becoming an issue of global concern at private as well as governmental levels, especially as soil constitutes a crucial component of rural and urban environments [1], and can be considered as a very important “ecological crossroad” in the landscape [2]. Agricultural soil contamination with heavy metals through the repeated use of untreated or poorly treated wastewater from industrial establishments and application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is one of the most severe ecological problems in Bangladesh. Although some trace elements are essential in plant nutrition, plants growing in the close vicinity of industrial areas display increased concentration of heavy metals, serving in many cases as biomonitors of pollution loads [3]. Vegetables cultivated in soils polluted with toxic and heavy metals take up such metals and accumulate them in their edible and non-edible parts in quantities high enough to cause clinical problems both to animals and human beings consuming these metal-rich plants as there is no good mechanism for their elimination from the human body [4-6]. Toxic metals are known to have serious health implications, including carcinogenesis induced tumor promotion, and hence the growing consciousness about the health risks associated with environmental chemicals has brought a major shift in global concern towards prevention of heavy metal accumulation in soil, water and vegetables [7,8]. Heavy metals and trace elements are also a matter of concern due to their non biodegradable nature and long biological half-lives. Wastewater from industries or other sources carries appreciable amounts of toxic heavy metals such as Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Mn in surface soil which create a problem for safe rational utilization of agricultural soil [9-13]. Long-term use of industrial or municipal wastewater in irrigation is known to have a significant contribution to the content of trace and heavy elements such as Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Mn in surface soil [12]. As a result, excessive accumulation of trace elements in agricultural soils through wastewater irrigation may not only result in soil contamination but also affect food quality and safety [14-16].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeavy Metal Contamination of Water and Soil
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis, Assessment, and Remediation Strategies
EditorsElham Asrari
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781482239652
ISBN (Print)9781771880046
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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