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Waste Water Farming of Bottle Gourd and Lady’s Finger Induces Dietary Toxicity

Kaushik Vilas Kulkarni


Objective: A large number of farmers are growing different vegetables and supplying them to the Solapur market. The majority of these farms are located on the banks of “nullah”, whose water is used for irrigation. From, a farm field in Degaon, a village on the Solapur-Mangalvedha road and on the bank of “nullah”, two fruit vegetables viz. bottle gourd (Dhoodhi bhopala) and lady’s finger (Bhendi) are evaluated in this study. The purpose of this study was to see if the bottle gourd (BG) and ladies finger (LF) from these farms are contaminated with heavy metals; if so, the extent and possible correlation between concentrations of HMs in soil, BG and LF; and the safety associated with the vegetables for human consumption. For that we analyzed the presence of heavy metals, i.e., Chromium (Cr), Aluminium (Al), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni) and Zinc (Zn) in the two vegetables. Methods: Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) was used for determining the concentration of heavy metals. Optimized wet acid digestion EPA-3050 procedure was employed to solubilize the metals from the vegetables samples. Results: The following concentrations (mg/kg) of the heavy metals were found in the edible parts of the bottle gourd and lady’s finger respectively. Bottle gourd: Cr (2.05), Al (76.36), Cu (13.65), Fe (130.62), Ni (1.2), Zn (0.595) and Lady’s finger: Cr (1.48), Al (55.05), Cu (10.5), Fe (115.4), Ni (1.2), Zn (0.922). The study revealed that the presence of all chosen heavy metals in the vegetables. The elevated concentration of these HMs in BG and LF may be due to increased accumulation which may be due to water used for irrigation. In order to establish the relationship between concentrations of HM in waste water, soil, BG and LF transfer factor TF was determined for all the HMs which indicated that the TFs for Al, Fe and Zn were higher compared to others’, meaning soil content of HMs led to bio-accumulation of the HMs. Conclusion: The study revealed that the use of waste water leads to accumulation of HMs like Cr, Al, Cu, Fe, Ni, Zn in BG and LF under prevailing conditions. The Al and Fe are found to be the most favorable HMs for accumulation by these plants. Because concentration of these HMs in BG and LF are above the permissible limits of WHO/FAO, BG and LF from Degaon are unsafe for human consumption. The TFs for Al and Fe in both the samples were very high indicating the higher accumulating ability of the plants for the metals and favorable geochemical conditions.


Keywords: ICP-AES, bottle gourd, lady’s finger, waste water, heavy metals, WHO/FAO, transfer factor

Cite this Article

Kaushik Vilas Kulkarni. Waste Water Farming of Bottle Gourd and Lady’s Finger Induces Dietary Toxicity?. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Toxicology. 2018; 8(2): 21–30p.

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