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, 28, 39-43

Bioavailability of Cd to Food Crops in Relation to Heavy Metal Content of Sludge-Amended Soil

Bioavailability of Cd to Food Crops in Relation to Heavy Metal Content of Sludge-Amended Soil

F T Bingham. Environ Health Perspect.

Abstract

Results of greenhouse and laboratory experiments on factors influencing uptake and accumulation of Cd by economic crops are summarized.Tolerance to Cd is highly crop-specific. For example, 21 different economic crops were grown in pots filled with a calcareous soil treated with increasing amounts of Cd. Yields versus Cd addition rate relations showed yield reductions to occur with Cd sensitive plants (spinach, soybean, curlycress, and lettuce) at addition rates varying from 5 to 15 mug Cd/g soil, whereas tolerant crops (tomato, squash, cabbage, and rice) did not suffer a yield reduction when treated at rates less than 150 mug Cd/g soil. Nutrient solution experiments likewise revealed marked differences in growth of crops. Corn, turnip, beets, bean, and tomato plants grown in solution cultures containing 0.1 mug Cd/ml accumulated different amounts of Cd in leaf tissue depending upon crop species; leaf Cd concentrations ranged from a low of 9 mug Cd/g leaf for beans to 200 mug Cd/g leaf for beets. Large differences also occur with regard to distribution of Cd within the plant. Fruit and seed tissue contain less Cd than leaves. Experiments comparing the toxicity of Cd to Cu, Ni, and Zn in an acid soil +/- lime showed Cd to be the most phytotoxic. While interactive effects occur with regard to metal uptake and accumulation by plants, Cd uptake is essentially dependent upon the Cd concentration of the soil. Studies of chemical speciation of Cd in relation to Cd availability indicate that the free Cd(2+) concentration correlates better with Cd uptake than Cd total of the soil solution.

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