Comparative study of heavy metals in "soil-wheat" systems between sewage-irrigated areas and clean-water-irrigated areas in suburban Beijing
Zhao, Y.; Han, S.-S.; Chen, Z.-F.; Liu, J.; Hu, H.-X.
Journal of Environmental Health 77(6): 28-34
After years of irrigating farmland with wastewater, concern is increasing about health risks from heavy metals contaminating wheat grown in sewage-irrigated soils in suburban areas of Beijing, China. The study discussed in this article aimed to compare the characteristics of heavy metal distribution in a sewage-irrigated "soil-wheat" system with those from a clean-water-irrigated area by collecting and analyzing samples from both areas. The results indicated that the average concentrations of copper, chromium, lead, and zinc in sewage-irrigated soil were higher than the values in the clean-water-irrigated region. Irrigation with wastewater could lead to increased bioconcentration factors. Therefore, issues of food contamination caused by sewage irrigation deserve more attention.