Journal article Open Access

Estimation of metal uptake in plant parts of roadside grown maize at selected growth stages

Anongo, M'ember C.; Uyovbisere, Edward O.; Ekong, Nsima J.

Health risk assessment of heavy metals in roadside grown foodcrops consumed by humans is a very good technique because such assessment would provide information about any threat regarding heavy metal contamination. Plant and corresponding soil samples were collected for trace metal analysis to ascertain potential health risks. The non-significant differences of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) levels among the selected growth stages shows that the levels of Pb and Cd in the foodcrops were not influenced by the growth stages. However, Pb had the highest plant uptake factor (PUF), soil-plant transfer coefficient (TC) and translocation factor (TF) in Zea mays L. at close proximity to the Kano-Zaria Highway with a traffic density of 19,288 daily average vehicles/day, suggest both atmospheric, soil and foodcrops pollution. The correlation coefficient between the PUF, TC and TF was significant for both Zea mays L. and Zea mays everta L. for PUF/TC for Cd and Pb. This may pose as threat to humans and livestock that used them as food sources. Both varieties of Zea mays L. (TZEE-Yellow maize and popcorn) could serve as indicators of roadside pollution as well as a potential phytoremediators.

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