Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in Varanasi City, India

Sharma, Rajesh Kumar, Agrawal, Madhoolika and Marshall, Fiona M (2008) Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in Varanasi City, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 142 (1-3). pp. 269-278. ISSN 0167-6369

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Rapid growth in urbanization and industrialization in developing countries may significantly contribute in heavy metal contamination of vegetables through atmospheric depositions. In the present study, an assessment was made to investigate the spatial and seasonal variations in deposition rates of heavy metals and its contribution to contamination of palak (Beta vulgaris). Samples of bulk atmospheric deposits and Beta vulgaris for analysis of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb were collected from different sampling locations differing in traffic density and land use patterns. The results showed that the sampling locations situated in industrial or commercial areas with heavy traffic load showed significantly elevated levels of Cu, Zn and Cd deposition rate as compared to those situated in residential areas with low traffic load. The deposition rates of Cu, Zn and Cd were significantly higher in summer and winter as compared to rainy season, however, Pb deposition rate was significantly higher in rainy and summer seasons as compared to winter season. Atmospheric depositions have significantly elevated the levels of heavy metals in B. vulgaris collected during evening as compared to those collected in morning hours. The study further showed that local population has maximum exposure to Cd contamination through consumption of B. vulgaris. The present study clearly points out the urban and industrial activities of a city have potential to elevate the levels of heavy metals in the atmospheric deposits, which may consequently contaminate the food chain and thus posing health risk to the local population.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Fiona Marshall
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:59
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2012 10:42
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