Chemical Forms and Health Risk of Cadmium in Water Spinach Grown in Contaminated Soil with an Increased Level of Phosphorus

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 9;16(18):3322. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183322.


(1) Background: Even in croplands with a low concentration of cadmium (Cd), there is still a risk for planting crops because of the high accumulation capacity of some leafy vegetables. (2) Methods: In this study, water spinach was planted in four main soil series (Wa, Eh, Tk, and Yu) in central Taiwan, which were spiked with Cd. The soil available phosphorous content was increased to 10-17 mg/kg, and the accumulation and developed chemical forms of Cd were analyzed. (3) Results: The experimental results showed that addition of phosphorous to Wa and Eh promoted the growth of water spinach. Accumulation and upward translocation of Cd were also increased in the phosphorus treatment compared with the control. The addition of phosphorus increased the percentage of Cd compartmentalized in undissolved Cd phosphate, which revealed that the mobility and toxicity of Cd were reduced in the phosphorus treatment. However, most of the water spinach was not edible because the vegetable-induced hazard quotient, which was calculated using three methods, showed hazardous potential in general.

Keywords: cadmium; chemical form; crop safety; phosphorus; risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Fertilizers / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Ipomoea / chemistry*
  • Ipomoea / metabolism
  • Phosphorus / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism*
  • Taiwan


  • Fertilizers
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Cadmium
  • Phosphorus