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Environ Geochem Health

DOI 10.1007/s10653-017-9907-8

REVIEW PAPER

Trace metals accumulation in soil irrigated with polluted


water and assessment of human health risk
from vegetable consumption in Bangladesh
Md. Atikul Islam . Davor Romic . Md. Ali Akber . Marija Romic

Received: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017


Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Abstract Trace metals accumulation in soil irri- sediments of the cities all over the Bangladesh.
gated with polluted water and human health risk from Polluted water irrigation and agrochemicals are iden-
vegetable consumption was assessed based on the data tified as dominant sources of metals in agricultural
available in the literature on metals pollution of water, soils. Vegetable contamination by metals poses both
soil, sediment and vegetables from the cites of non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks to the public.
Bangladesh. The quantitative data on metal concen- Based on the results of the pollution and health risk
trations, their contamination levels and their pollution assessments, Cd, As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Ni are identified
sources have not been systematically gathered and as the priority control metals and the Dhaka city is
studied so far. The data on metal concentrations, recommended as the priority control city. This study
sources, contamination levels, sample collection and provides quantitative evidence demonstrating the
analytical tools used were collected, compared and critical need for strengthened wastewater discharge
discussed. The USEPA-recommended method for regulations in order to protect residents from heavy
health risk assessment was used to estimate human metal discharges into the environment.
risk from vegetable consumption. Concentrations of
metals in water were highly variable, and the mean Keywords Wastewater discharge  Agricultural
concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu and As in water were soil  Sediment  Vegetable  Health risk assessment 
found to be higher than the FAO irrigation water Bangladesh
quality standard. In most cases, mean concentrations
of metals in soil were higher than the Bangladesh
background value. Based on geoaccumulation index
(Igeo) values, soils of Dhaka city are considered as Introduction
highly contaminated. The Igeo shows Cd, As, Cu, Ni,
Pb and Cr contamination of agricultural soils and Irrigation by polluted surface water is a common
practice in many developing countries (Chary et al.
2008). This polluted water can contain municipal,
Md. A. Islam  D. Romic  M. Romic (&)
Department of Soil Amelioration, Faculty of Agriculture, industrial and agricultural runoff (containing agro-
University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia chemicals). Thus, metals pollution of agricultural soil
e-mail: mromic@agr.hr and vegetables from polluted water irrigation is one of
the most severe ecological and public health problems
Md. A. Islam  Md. A. Akber
Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, in the developing countries, including Bangladesh
Khulna, Bangladesh (Kashem and Singh 1999). Although, soils naturally

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Environ Geochem Health

contain metals in trace level (Zhao and Kaluarachchi urban sewage discharged in the open water bodies and
2002; Pierzynski et al. 2005; Kabata-Pendias and rivers have already brought the pollution level in an
Pendias 1992; Wuana and Okieimen 2011), effluents alarming state (Kashem and Singh 1999; Khan et al.
from industry or other sources carry a significant 2008; Ahmad and Goni 2010; Rahman et al. 2012;
amount of toxic metals which create a problem for safe Islam et al. 2014a, d, 2015a, c, e). These polluted
use of agricultural soil (Yadav et al. 2002; Singh et al. waters are used for irrigation typically in dry season
2004; Chen et al. 2005). Therefore, long-term appli- (NovemberMay) when the scarcity of fresh water is
cation of polluted water for irrigation may contribute very high. Several studies from polluted water
in accumulation of metals such as Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, irrigated areas of Bangladesh have reported high
Pb and Mn in surface soil above defined background concentration of metals in soils (Ahmad and Goni
level (Mapanda et al. 2005). Concentration of metals 2010; Islam et al. 2014b, 2015b, f; Alamgir et al.
above soil background value and safe limits of the 2015).
Netherlands and China are reported in several studies Bangladesh is located at the floodplain delta of
conducted in different locations of Bangladesh (Ah- three major river basinsthe Ganges, the Brahmapu-
mad and Goni 2010; Kashem and Singh 1999; Islam tra and the Meghna (GBM). Riverbed sediments are
et al. 2014b, 2015e, f; Goni et al. 2014; Alamgir et al. regarded as the ultimate sink for metal cations (Gibbs
2015). Excessive accumulation of metals in agricul- 1973). Studies suggest that metals have been widely
tural soils may not only result in soil contamination but accumulated in the surface sediments of rivers of
also affect food quality and safety (Muchuweti et al. Dhaka and other cities of Bangladesh (Alam et al.
2006; Sharma et al. 2006, 2008). Distribution and 2003; Mohiuddin et al. 2011; Halim et al. 2013; Islam
translocation of metals into different parts of the plant et al. 2014c, d, 2015b, c, e; Ali et al. 2016). It is known
body depend upon the availability and concentration that the behavior of metals in natural waters is a
of metals as well as particular plant species and its function of substrate sediment composition, sus-
population (Liu et al. 2007). Again, the uptake of pended sediment composition and water chemistry.
metal concentration by the plants also depends on Besides, transportation of metals causes numerous
metal speciation, soil characteristics and type of plant changes in their speciation due to dissolution, precip-
species (Lin et al. 2003). itation, sorption and complexation processes (Dasse-
Bangladesh is a predominantly agricultural country nakis et al. 1998; Akcay et al. 2003; Abdel-Ghani and
having 8.3 Mha (million hectares) of arable land. Elchaghaby 2007; Mohiuddin et al. 2011) which affect
Although 7 Mha of this land is potential area for their behavior and bioavailability (Nicolau et al. 2006;
irrigation, existing irrigation system covers only 4.48 Nouri et al. 2011; Islam et al. 2015e). Therefore,
Mha (BBS 2004). Given the shortage of water for concerns are growing over the contaminated sedi-
irrigation, use of polluted water for food crop culti- ments in river beds because it may cause substantive
vation in urban and peri-urban area is a growing damage to the aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, mon-
concern for human health safety in Bangladesh. soon flood caused by the overflow of rivers inundates
Polluted river water use is increasing in urban and about one-third of Bangladesh (Bala et al. 2009). This
peri-urban agriculture where such use derives signif- may pose risks to agricultural soils as a result of the
icant economic activity and supports the livelihood of mobilization and deposition of contaminated sedi-
resource-poor farmers but alters environmental qual- ments in the floodplain.
ity. Treatment of wastewater from industry is not a Crops grown in metal contaminated soils usually
priority in low-income countries like Bangladesh. uptake an excessive level of metals, which enter into
Although there are certain laws and regulations to the edible parts of plants (Alam et al. 2003; Mapanda
control industrial pollution, its monitoring system is et al. 2005; Sharma et al. 2008). Contamination of
generally weak. Many small to medium scale indus- food is the major pathway for metal exposure to
tries operating in urban and peri-urban areas of humans (Khan et al. 2008). Shaheen et al. (2016)
Bangladesh are disposing their contaminated effluents examined the presence of toxic heavy metals (As, Cd,
directly into sewage system. Effluents from various Pb, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu and Zn) in nationally representative
industries (tannery, textile, dying, washing, pharma- samples of typically consumed vegetables ((Solanum
ceuticals, chemicals, paints, steel, ceramic, etc.), and melongena (brinjal), Dolichos lablab (bean), Daucus

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Environ Geochem Health

carota (carrot), Capsicum frutescens (green chili), systematically collected and studied so far. Therefore,
Allium cepa (onion), Solanum tuberosum (potato) and a comprehensive nationwide assessment of metal
Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato)) in Bangladesh and pollution in different areas of Bangladesh is urgently
found that Cd concentrations in tomato among the needed. The purpose of this study was to assess a
analyzed vegetables exceeded the maximum allow- national scale metal contamination in polluted surface
able concentration set by FAO/WHO. The target water (hereafter called water), polluted water irrigated
hazard quotients (THQs) of all metals were \1, soils (hereafter called soil), surface sediments of
suggesting no health hazards for adult population. polluted water (hereafter called sediment) and veg-
However, total THQs of Mn and Cu were [1 through etables grown in polluted water irrigated soils (here-
consumption of all vegetables, indicating significant after called vegetables) based on the survey of
health risks. Higher contents of metals in food can available existing data. The specific objectives of this
result in fatal diseases (Singh et al. 2011). Copper can research were (1) to evaluate trace metals pollution
cause adverse health problems such as liver and level in water, soil, sediment and vegetable and (2) to
kidney damage (WHO 1995; Tuzen 2009). Cadmium assess the health risks posed by vegetables grown in
is toxic to the cardiovascular system, kidneys and polluted water irrigated soil.
bones (Fang et al. 2014). Arsenic can cause skin
lesions, gangrene in leg, skin, lung, bladder, liver and
renal cancer (Anawar et al. 2002). Lead is associated Materials and methods
with pathological changes in organs and the central
nervous system, which may lead to decrements in Data collection and processing
intelligence quotients (IQ) in children. Chromium and
Ni are known to cause a variety of pulmonary adverse This study reviews data on metal contamination of
health effects, such as lung inflammation, fibrosis, water, soil, sediment and vegetable in Bangladesh
emphysema and tumors (Forti et al. 2011). Sufficient available in the literature published over last two
amount of Zn is very important for normal body decades. Seven metals, namely Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As
functions and its deficiency can cause anorexia, and Ni, were considered, all of them being identified
diarrhea, dermatitis and depression, immune dysfunc- by the USEPA as priority metal pollutants. Relevant
tion and poor wound healing; nevertheless, its toxicity references were searched within online electronic
can cause a sideroblastic anemia (Muhammad et al. databases of Google Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect,
2011). Various heavy metals in toxic levels are known Scopus, SpringerLink, and Web of Science between
to have serious health implications, including car- December 2015 and February 2016. Key words used
cinogenesis-induced tumor promotion. Therefore, it is in the search are: heavy/trace metal contamination,
essential to identify heavy metals concentration in polluted/wastewater irrigation, soil, vegetable, sedi-
food products and their dietary intake to determine ment, health risk assessment and Bangladesh. Rele-
health risks (Zhuang et al. 2009). Growing conscious- vant references from the bibliographies of identified
ness about the health risks associated with metals has papers were also searched. Data on metal concentra-
brought a major shift in global concern toward their tion in water, soil, sediment and vegetables were
prevention accumulation in soil and vegetables (Mor- extracted from relevant articles. Commonly con-
tula and Rahman 2002; Ahmed et al. 2009b). sumed vegetables [(e.g., Raphanus sativus (Raddish),
In last two decades, several studies were conducted Solanum melongena (brinjal), Dolichos lablab (bean),
in the cities of Bangladesh to assess metal pollution in Daucus carota (carrot), Capsicum frutescens (green
river water, river water irrigated soil, rivers sediment chili), Allium cepa (onion), Solanum tuberosum
and vegetables grown in river water irrigated soil (potato), and Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato),
(Kashem and Singh 1999; Khan et al. 2008; Rahman Abelmoschus esculentus (ladys finger), Brassica oler-
et al. 2012; Islam et al. 2014a, d, 2015a, e). Most of acea var. capitata (green cabbage), Lagenaria sicer-
these studies were focused on Dhaka, which is the aria (bottle gourd), Cucurbita (pumpkin), Brassica
capital city of Bangladesh (Fig. 1). However, quanti- oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)] of Bangladesh
tative data on metal concentrations, their contamina- are considered in the reference studies. Data from
tion levels and pollution sources have not been different articles were standardized in mg L-1 for

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Environ Geochem Health

Fig. 1 Sampling locations in Bangladesh where heavy metals concentrations of polluted water, soil, sediment and vegetable have been
studied

water, mg kg-1 dry weight (dw) for soil and sediment, water samples were digested with HNO3, or a mixture
and mg kg-1 fresh weight (fw) for vegetable. Data of acids such as HNO3, HClO4, H2SO4, or with the
were compared with standards widely used in the addition of H2O2 with HNO3 (Table 1). Total con-
literature for comparison of the related data. Water centrations of metals were determined by ICP-MS,
quality data were compared with FAO safe limit and ICP-OES, AAS, XRF and DR/890 Colorimeter. The
Bangladesh standards. Metal concentrations of soil soil samples were collected from polluted water
were compared with the regulations of Netherlands irrigated agricultural field, to a depth of 520 cm.
and China. Metals in sediment were compared with The sediment samples were collected from bottom of
the regulations of USEPA and Canada. FAO/WHO the polluted water (520 cm bottom sediment). In few
safe limits were considered for the comparison of of the studies (Islam et al. 2014b, 2015b, f; Halim et al.
vegetable data. 2015), several soil samples were taken and then mixed
thoroughly to obtain a composite sample. However,
Sampling strategy and sample processing method for sediment samples, composite samples were taken
in two of the studies (Islam et al. 2014d, 2015e). Soil
The sampling strategy, analytical tools and determined and sediment samples were air-dried and mixed well.
metals of the related studies are listed in Tables 1, 2, 3, Subsamples of soil and sediment were dried in oven,
4. Water is mainly contaminated by industrial and ground into fine powder, sieved through 2 mm mesh.
municipal discharges, and agricultural run-offs. The Then, the sieved soil and sediment samples were

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Table 1 Sample collection and processing methods for heavy metals analysis of water of the cities in Bangladesh
City (sampling site) No of samples Digestion Analysis method (metals) References

Dhaka (River and canal of Hazaribagh tannery 18 X-ray Fluorescence (Cd, Cr, Pb, As) Islam et al. (2014a)
industries surrounding area)
Environ Geochem Health

Dhaka (River and canal of Hazaribagh tannery 49 HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Ahmad and Goni (2010)
industries surrounding area)
Dhaka (River of Hazaribagh tannery 20 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Bhuiyan et al. (2011)
industries surrounding area)
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ surrounding river and canals) 09 HNO3 ? H2SO4 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni) Ahmad et al. (2010)
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ surrounding river) 20 X-ray Fluorescence (Cu, Zn) Khan et al. (2014)
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ surrounding river and bill) 08 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Rahman et al. (2014a)
Dhaka (River and canal water, DEPZ, Savar) 12 HNO3 ICP-MS (Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Ahmed et al. (2012b)
Dhaka (Buriganga river surrounding areas) 09 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Rahman et al. (2014b)
Dhaka (Buriganga river) 15 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Bhuiyan et al. (2015)
Dhaka (Buriganga, Shitalakshyaa, Turag, 09 HNO3 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn) Sikder et al. (2013)
and Bongshi river)
Dhaka (Turag river) 05 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) Islam et al. (2012)
Dhaka (city surrounding major rivers) 45 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, As) Mokaddes et al. (2013)
Dhaka (River water from Dhaleshwari river 09 HNO3 ? H2SO4 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni) Ahmed et al. (2009b)
surrounding areas, Tangail)
Dhaka (Meghna River surrounding area) 11 HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cr, Zn) Hassan et al. (2015)
Dhaka (Buriganga River surrounding area) 20 ICP-AES (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Mohiuddin et al. (2011)
Dhaka (Dhaleshwari River surrounding area) 03 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb) Ahmed et al. (2012a)
Chittagong (Karnaphuli River surrounding area) 04 HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) Siddiqui and Aktar (2012)
Chittagong (Karnaphuli River surrounding area) 40 HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, As) Ali et al. (2016)
Pabna (Sugar Mill wastewater drain, Natore) 03 DR/890 colorimeter (Hach Co., USA) (Zn) Tabriz et al. (2011)
Rajshahi (Circuit house and Dargapara drains) - (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Ni) Ahmed et al. (2009a)
Dinajpur (coal mine site drainage water) 20 AAS (Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Bhuiyan et al. (2010a)
Dinajpur (coal mining area irrigation water) 10 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, As) Halim et al. (2013)
Mymensingh (Khiru river) 36 HNO3 ? H2SO4 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd,Cu, Pb, Zn) Rashid et al. (2012)
Mymensingh (Municipal wastewater) 05 DR/890 colorimeter (Hach Co., USA) (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) Mojid and Wyseure (2013)
Bogra (Korotoa River water) 40 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Ni) Islam et al. (2015e)

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Environ Geochem Health

digested with a mixture of acids such as HNO3 with Health risk assessment
HClO4, H2SO4, HCl, H2O2 or Aqua regia (Tables 2,
3). Total concentrations of metal for soil and sediment In relevant studies, health risks from metals are
were determined by ICP-MS, AAS and XRF. The assessed with the help of three indices, such as
edible part of the vegetable samples was washed with estimated daily intake (EDI) (Saha and Zaman 2013;
deionized distilled water to remove all observable dust Islam et al. 2014b, 2015b), target hazard quotient
particles and blotted with tissue paper. The edible (THQ) (Saha and Zaman 2013; Islam et al.
portion was dried in oven, ground into fine powder, 2014b, 2015b), and carcinogenic risk of arsenic and
sieved through 2 mm mesh. The vegetable samples lead (Saha and Zaman 2013; Islam et al. 2015b).
were digested with HNO3, or a mixture of HNO3 and The EDI of each of the metal is found by the
H2O2. Finally, the total concentrations of metals were following equation:
determined by ICP-MS, AAS and XRF (Table 4).
EDI EF  ED  FIR  MC  103 =BW  AT
Pollution levels of trace metals
where EF is the exposure frequency
(365 days year-1), ED is the exposure duration
The pollution levels of metals in soils are assessed by
(60 years), FIR is the food ingestion (g person-1
using geoaccumulation index (Igeo). Soil contamina-
day-1), MC is the metal concentration in vegeta-
tion is often evaluated by comparing metal concen-
bles (mg kg-1, on fresh weight basis), to convert dry
trations with the related environmental guidelines or
weight (dw) to fresh weight (fw) moisture content of
by quantifying an accumulation factor (pollution
87% was considered, BW is the average body weight
indexes, PIs) with respect to relevant background
(adult, 60 kg), AT is the averaging time for non-
values. The Igeo introduced by Muller (1969) enables
carcinogens (365 days year-1 9 number of exposure
the assessment of environmental contamination by
years, 60 years). Daily vegetable consumption rate for
comparing differences between current and preindus-
adult residents was considered to be 126 g person-1
trial element concentrations. It is also employed in
day-1 (Ali and Hau 2001).
pollution assessment of metals in sediment. Geoaccu-
Non-carcinogenic risk assessments are typically
mulation index is computed using the following
conducted to estimate the potential health risks of
equation:
pollutants using the THQ, which is the ratio between
Igeo log2 Cn =1:5Bn the estimated exposure and the oral reference dose
(RfD, mg kg-1 day-1) (USEPA 2000). The THQ
where Cn is the measured concentration of particular
values through the consumption of vegetables by local
metal found in the soil and sediment (mg kg-1dw),
inhabitants can therefore be assessed for each of the
and Bn is its geochemical background value (mg kg-1
metals and determined by the following equation:
dw). Due to unavailability of geochemical background
value of soil and sediment in Bangladesh, element THQ EDI=RfD
concentrations in upper continental crust reported by
The oral reference doses were based on 0.003, 0.02,
Wedepohl (1995) were taken for calculation. The
0.04, 0.3, 0.0003, 0.0005 and 0.004 mg kg-1 day-1
constant 1.5 is used due to potential variations in the
for Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb, respectively
baseline data (Loska et al. 2004; Solgi et al. 2012).
(JECFA 1993; USEPA 2007). A THQ below 1 means
According to Muller (1969), the Igeo for each of the
the exposed population is unlikely to experience
metals are calculated and classified as: Igeo B 0
obvious adverse effects, whereas a THQ above 1
practically uncontaminated; 0 B Igeo B 1uncon-
means that there is a chance of non-carcinogenic
taminated to moderately contaminated; 1 B Igeo -
effects, with an increasing probability as the value
B 2moderately contaminated; 2 B Igeo B 3
increases.
moderately to heavily contaminated; 3 B Igeo B 4
It has been reported that exposure to two or more
heavily contaminated; 4 B Igeo B 5heavily to
pollutants may result in additive and/or interactive
extremely contaminated; and 5 \ Igeoextremely
effects (Hallenbeck 1993). The total THQ (TTHQ) of
contaminated.

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Table 2 Sample collection and processing methods for heavy metals analysis of soils of the cities in Bangladesh
City (sampling site) No of Depth Digestion Analysis method (metals) References
samples (cm)
Environ Geochem Health

Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, Hazaribagh tannery 45 15 HNO3 ? H2SO4 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Ahmad and Goni
area) (2010)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, DEPZ, Savar) 12 5 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Kashem and Singh
(1999)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, DEPZ, Savar) 13 15 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Kashem and Singh
(1999)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, DEPZ, Savar) 15 15 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Kashem and Singh
(1999)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, Tongi 13 15 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Kashem and Singh
ceramic industrial area) (1999)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, Tongi textile, 36 20 HNO3 ? HCl ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Ni) Islam et al. (2014b)
dying industrial area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil, Rupgonj sulfuric 50 15 HClO4 ? HNO3 ? H2SO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Goni et al. (2014)
acid producing industrial area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated soil surrounding 40 1520 Aqua regia AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Rahman et al. (2012)
polluted Turag, Buriganga, Shitalaksha river) (HCl:HNO3 = 3:1)
Dinajpur (Coal mining area wastewater irrigated soil) 15 15 HNO3 ? HClO4 ? HCl AAS (Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Ni) Halim et al. (2015)
Dinajpur (Coal mining area wastewater irrigated soil) 32 515 X-ray Fluorescence (Pb, Zn, As) Bhuiyan et al. (2010b)
Patuakhali (polluted Paira river irrigated soil) 21 10 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni) Alamgir et al. (2015)
Chittagong (city corporation area wastewater irrigated 40 10 HNO3 ? HCl ICP-MS (Cd, Cu, Pb, As, Ni) Islam et al. (2015b)
area)
Bogra (polluted Korotoa River irrigated soil) 48 10 HNO3 ? HCl ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Ni, Islam et al. (2015f)
Zn)

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Table 3 Sample collection and processing methods for heavy metals analysis of sediments of the cities in Bangladesh
City (sampling site) No of Sampling method Depth (cm) Digestion Analysis method (metals) References
samples

123
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ surrounding river 09 Vertical corer and an Ekman HNO3 ? HClO4 ? H2SO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni) Ahmad et al.
and canal sediment) grab sampler (2010)
Dhaka (DEPZ surrounding area river 15 Sediment corer 510 X-ray Fluorescence (Cr, Bhuiyan et al.
and bill sediment) Cu,Pb, Zn, As, Ni) (2015)
Dhaka (Buriganga River sediment) 18 Ekman grab sampler 5 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Islam et al.
Ni) (2014d)
Dhaka (Buriganga River sediment) 08 Ekman grab sampler Bottom HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Rahman et al.
sediment As, Ni) (2014a)
Dhaka (Buriganga River sediment) 05 Bottom AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn) Banu et al.
sediment (2013)
Dhaka (Buriganga River sediment) 05 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn) Saha and
Hossain
(2011)
Dhaka (Turag, Buriganga and 09 Ekman grab sampler Surface HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Rahman et al.
Shitalakha river sediment) bed As, Ni) (2014b)
Dhaka (Turag River sediment) 11 10 HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Zn) Hassan et al.
(2015)
Dhaka (Meghna River sediment) 09 Vertical corer and an Ekman HNO3 ? HClO4 ? H2SO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni) Ahmed et al.
grab sampler (2009b)
Dhaka (Dhaleshwari river sediment) 20 15 ICP-MS (Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Mohiuddin et al.
Ni) (2011)
Dhaka (Dhaleshwar River sediment) 03 Scoop Surface HNO3 ? HClO4 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb) Ahmed et al.
bed (2012a)
Chittagong (Karnaphuli river sediment) 40 Ekman grab sampler Surface HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cr, Pb, Ni) Ali et al. (2016)
bed
Bogra (Korotoa river sediment) 40 Ekman grab sampler 5 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Islam et al.
Ni) (2015e)
Dinajpur (Coal mining area drain, canal 10 Bottom Not mentioned X-ray Fluorescence Halim et al.
sediment) sediment Spectroscope (Cr) (2013)
Mymensingh (Khiru river sediment) 36 20 HNO3 ? HClO4 ? H2SO4 AAS (Cd,Cu, Pb, Zn) Rashid et al.
(2012)
Patuakhali (Paira river sediment) 48 Ekman grab sampler 5 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, As, Islam et al.
Ni) (2015c)
Environ Geochem Health
Table 4 Sample collection and processing methods for heavy metals analysis of vegetables from the cities of Bangladesh
City (sampling site) Vegetables No of Digestion Analysis method References
samples (metals)

Dhaka (Hazaribagh tannery surrounding Stem amaranth, Raddish, Spinach 31 X-ray Fluorescence (Cd, Islam et al. (2014a)
Environ Geochem Health

area wastewater irrigated vegetables) Cr, Pb, As)


Dhaka (Hazaribagh tannery surrounding Brinjal, Chili, Ladys finger, tomato, green 59 HNO3 AAS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ahmad and Goni (2010)
area wastewater irrigated vegetables) cabbage Zn, Ni)
Dhaka (DEPZ surrounding area Stem amaranth, Raddish, Spinach 31 X-ray Fluorescence (Cu, Khan et al. (2014)
wastewater irrigated vegetables) Zn)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and tomato 36 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted Turag Pb, As, Ni)
River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and tomato 36 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted Pb, As, Ni)
Buriganga River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and tomato 36 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted Pb, As, Ni)
Shitalakha River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and tomato 36 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2015a)
vegetables surrounding polluted Turag, Pb, As, Ni)
Buriganga and Shitalakha River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Tomato, bottle gourd, brinjal, pumpkin, green 48 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam and Hoque (2014)
vegetables surrounding polluted Turag, amaranth, red amaranth, chili and banana Pb, As, Ni, Zn)
River)
Patuakhali (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, green amaranth, red amaranth, bottle 120 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2015b)
vegetables surrounding Paira River) gourd, tomato, pumpkin, chili, carrot, bean, Pb, As, Ni)
onion, potato, and lentil
Bogra (Wastewater irrigated Bean, cauliflower, spinach, brinjal, tomato, 130 HNO3 ? H2O2 ICP-MS (Cd, Cr, Cu, Islam et al. (2015f)
vegetables surrounding polluted potato, onion, carrot, chili, bottle gourd, Pb, As, Ni, Zn)
Korotoa River) cucumber, green banana, bitter gourd

123
Environ Geochem Health

heavy metals for foodstuff is treated as the mathemat- (Ahmed et al. 2009b, 2010; Ahmad and Goni 2010).
ical sum of each individual metal THQ value: Wastewater from tannery industry and municipal
sewage may be attributed to the higher concentration
TTHQ THQ toxixant 1 THQ toxixant 2
of Cr in the rivers and around Dhaka (Bhuiyan et al.
. . .THQ toxixant n
2011; Islam et al. 2014a). The study (Rahman et al.
The lifetime carcinogenic risk of inorganic As and Pb 2014a, b; Ahmad and Goni 2010) conducted from
is estimated based on the USEPA carcinogenic slope Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) area showed
factors of 1.50 and 8.5 9 10-3 (mg kg-1 day-1), very high Cu concentrations compared to the safe
respectively (USEPA 2010) by the following limits. Copper in aqueous systems received attention
equation: mostly because of its toxic effects on biota. Sewage
and industrial wastes may cause high concentration of
R SF  EDI Cu in water (Koukal et al. 2004; Wu et al. 2008; Islam
where, R is the probability of excess lifetime cancer et al. 2014d). Like Cr, As concentrations were very
(or simply risk), SF is the carcinogenic slope factor, high near tannery industry (Bhuiyan et al. 2011; Islam
and EDI is the estimated daily intake of heavy metals. et al. 2014a). In tannery industry, pesticides (arsenic
sulfide) are used for tanning and disinfecting hides.
Arsenic sulfide and chlorine are widely used to prevent
Results and discussion further decay of skin (Asaduzzaman et al. 2002).

Trace metal concentrations Trace metal concentrations in agricultural soil

Trace metal concentrations in water Like water, soil contamination studies were mostly
conducted in Dhaka city. Studies on soil contamina-
Considering the massive urbanization and industrial- tion were conducted in Dhaka, Dinajpur, Patuakhali,
ization, water pollution surveys in Bangladesh were Chittagong and Bogra (Bangladesh). The concentra-
mostly conducted in capital city of Bangladesh (Dhaka tions (mean values and range) of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn,
city). Out of 25 relevant articles on metal contamina- As and Ni in agricultural soils of the reference studies
tions of water, 16 articles studied the Dhaka city areas are presented in Table 6. The mean Cd concentrations
particularly (Table 5). Other articles referred to the of all reference studies were very high compared to the
cities of Chittagong, Rajshahi, Pabna, Dinajpur, Bangladesh background value and exceed the safe
Mymensingh and Bogra. Data of contamination of limit of China. In addition, two studies from DEPZ
water by metals are gathered from existing literatures. area of Dhaka (Ahmad and Goni 2010; Goni et al.
Concentrations of metals (mean values and range) in 2014) had mean Cd concentration slightly lower than
the waters of the reference studies from those cities are the target intervention values of Netherlands. How-
presented in Table 5, and we found the concentrations ever, the maximum values for those studies were
to be highly variable across the studies. Two reference above the target intervention values of Netherlands.
studies from Dhaka (Bhuiyan et al. 2011; Mohiuddin Widespread distribution of Cd and its high mobility
et al. 2011) and another from Mymensingh (Rashid makes it a potential contaminant in a wide range of
et al. 2012) showed very high Cd concentrations natural environments. Generally, soil Cd concentra-
compared to the safe limits. Cadmium may appear in tions exceeding 0.5 mg kg-1 are considered evidence
water bodies from industrial discharges (Caruso and of soil pollution (McBride 1994). Phosphatic fertiliz-
Bishop 2009). Direct discharge of industrial and ers are one of the most ubiquitous sources of Cd
municipal wastes was the reason of high Cd concen- contamination in agricultural soils throughout the
tration in water (Bhuiyan et al. 2011; Rashid et al. world (Romic et al. 2012). Cadmium is found in
2012). The concentrations of Cr were high in the wastewater and also in phosphatic fertilizers due to the
vicinity of tannery industry (Bhuiyan et al. 2011; presence of Cd as an impurity in all phosphate rocks
Islam et al. 2014a). Water of major rivers of Dhaka (Ahmad and Goni 2010).
also showed Cr concentration above safe limit Two reference studies (Halim et al. 2015; Islam
et al. 2014b) had Cr concentrations above the safe

123
Table 5 Concentrations of heavy metals in wastewater of the cities in Bangladesh (mg L-1)
City (sampling site) Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

Dhaka (River and canal of 18 Mean (SD) 0 51.14 (7.63) 18.10 (2.63) 5.71 (1.01) Islam et al. (2014a)
Hazaribagh tannery Range 0 40.8960.09 15.3122.44 4.277.08
industries surrounding
area)
Dhaka (River and canal of 20 Mean (SD) 0.13 5.27 0.44 0.81 0.70 0.59 0.33 Bhuiyan et al. (2011)
Environ Geochem Health

Hazaribagh tannery Range 0.020.28 0.0220.20 0.031.50 0.122.50 0.022.50 0.101.10 0.021.10
industries surrounding
area)
Dhaka (River of 20 Mean (SD) 0.058 0.23 (0.10) Khan et al. (2014)
Hazaribagh tannery (0.022)
industries surrounding Range 0.0250.081 0.160.42
area)
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ 08 Mean (SD) 0.007 0.0068 1.26 0.132 3.37 0.03 0.046 Rahman et al. (2014a)
surrounding river and Range 0.0050.008 0.0430.089 1.081.46 0.0910.173 2.814.17 0.0270.039 0.0360.058
canals)
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ 12 Mean (SD) 0.034 (0.01) 0.2 (0.019) 0.06 (0.03) 0.87 (0.56) 0.007 (0.002) 0.059 (0.01) Ahmed et al. (2012b)
surrounding river) Range 0.0010.064 0.140.39 0.0360.1 0.242.2 0.0040.01 0.030.1
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ 09 Mean (SD) 0.007 (0.001) 0.09 (0.032) 1.05 (0.22) 0.10 (0.031) 3.32 (0.62) 0.02 (0.008) 0.035 Rahman et al. (2014b)
surrounding river and (0.012)
bill) Range 0.0050.01 0.040.15 0.651.46 0.170.68 2.134.17 0.0090.039 0.0580.130
Dhaka (River and canal 49 Mean (SD) 0.06 (0.04) 0.43 (0.08) 2.17 (0.46) 0.21 (0.05) 0.95 (0.40) 0.19 (0.05) Ahmad and Goni
water, DEPZ, Savar) Range 0.020.04 0.290.53 1.352.88 0.140.30 0.491.69 0.130.29 (2010)
Dhaka (Buriganga river 09 Mean (SD) 0.009 (0.001) 0.58 (0.04) 0.16 (0.03) 0.06 (0.004) 0.008 Ahmad et al. (2010)
surrounding areas) (0.001)
Range
Dhaka (Buriganga river) 15 Mean (SD) 0.059 0.114 0.24 0.12 0.33 0.13 0.15 Bhuiyan et al. (2015)
Range 0.030.09 0.0120.18 0.10.99 0.10.21 0.110.9 0.0050.22 0.090.4
Dhaka (Buriganga, 09 Mean (SD) 0.004 (0.0008) 0.023 (0.01) 0.014 (0.01) 0.004 0.0019 Sikder et al. (2013)
Shitalakshyaa, Turag, (0.0007) (0.001)
and Bongshi river) Range 0.0030.006 00.05 0.0030.05 0.0030.005 0.00010.005
Dhaka (Turag river) 05 Mean (SD) 0.002 (0.003) 0.07 (0.02) 0.05 (0.03) 0.14 (0.04) Islam et al. (2012)
Range 0.000.007 0.050.10 0.010.09 0.080.19
Dhaka (city surrounding 45 Mean (SD) 0.012 (0.004) 0.006 0.002 0.02 (0.01) 0.003 (0.006) Mokaddes et al. (2013)
major rivers) (0.004) (0.001)
Range
Dhaka (River water from 09 Mean (SD) 0.006 (0.0008) 0.44 (0.04) 0.15 (0.03) 0.05 (0.01) 0.007 Ahmed et al. (2009b)
Dhaleshwari river (0.001)
surrounding areas, Range 0.0050.008 0.30.5 0.090.18 0.030.06 0.0050.009
Tangail)

123
Table 5 continued
City (sampling site) Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

123
Dhaka (Meghna River 11 Mean (SD) 0.003 (0.0016) 0.03 (0.023) ND 0.03 (0.03) ND Hassan et al. (2015)
surrounding area) Range 0.00120.0071 0.0060.073 0.010.11
Dhaka (Buriganga River 20 Mean (SD) 0.19 1.69 0.22 0.36 0.24 0.32 0.16 Mohiuddin et al. (2011)
surrounding area) Range
Dhaka (Dhaleshwari 03 Mean (SD) 0.001 (0) 0.13 (0.007) 0 (0) 0.2 (0.076) Ahmed et al. (2012a)
River surrounding area) Range
Chittagong (Karnaphuli 04 Mean (SD) 0.00003 0.0003 0.0002 0.0006 Siddiqui and Aktar
River surrounding area) (0.000008) (0.00008) (0.00008) (0.0003) (2012)
Range
Chittagong (Karnaphuli 40 Mean (SD) 0.0085 0.078 0.013 0.028 Ali et al. (2016)
River surrounding area) Range
Rajshahi (Sugar Mill 03 Mean (SD) ND Tabriz et al. (2011)
wastewater drain, Range
Natore)
Rajshahi (Circuit house Mean (SD) 0.008 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.003 0.02 Ahmed et al. (2009a)
and Dargapara drains) Range
Dinajpur (coal mine site 20 Mean (SD) ND 0.21 0.23 0.43 ND 0.18 Bhuiyan et al. (2010a)
drainage water) Range
Dinajpur (coal mining 10 Mean (SD) 0.003 0.003 0.006 0.003 0.026 0.0004 0.012 Halim et al. (2013)
area irrigation water) Range (0.0030.004) (0.0020.004) (0.0020.01) (0.0010.01) (0.0070.1) 0.00030.0005) (0.0080.02)
Mymensingh (Khiru Mean (SD) 0.12 0.004 0.022 0.006 Rashid et al. (2012)
river) Range
Mymensingh (Municipal 36 Mean (SD) 0.001 (0.009) 0.009 0.017 0.03 (0.01) Mojid and Wyseure
wastewater) (0.003) (0.008) (2013)
Range
Bogra (Korotoa River 05 Mean (SD) 0.009 0.078 0.067 0.031 0.04 0.03 Islam et al. (2015e)
water) Range
BMAC 1 0.005 0.05 1.0 0.05 5.0 0.05 0.1 DOE (1997)
BMAC 2 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.1 5.0 0.2 1.0 DOE (1997)
BMAC 3 0.05 1.0 3.0 0.1 10.0 0.2 1.0 DOE (1997)
FAO Safe limit 0.01 0.1 0.2 5 2.0 0.1 0.2 Pescod (1992)

Concentrations are compared with, FAO Safe limit = Safe limit of toxic heavy metals in irrigation water for agricultural purpose (Pescod 1992); BMAC 1 = Bangladesh
maximum admissible concentration for drinking water (DOE 1997); BMAC 2 = Bangladesh maximum admissible concentration for industrial wastewater discharge into inland
surface water (DOE 1997); BMAC 3 = Bangladesh maximum admissible concentration for industrial wastewater discharge into irrigated land (DOE 1997)
Environ Geochem Health
Table 6 Comparison of metal concentrations (mg kg-1 dw) in soils with the reported value in the literatures
City (sampling site) Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 12 Mean (SD) 1.26 115.5 68.1 290.1 89.8 Kashem and Singh
soil, Hazaribagh tannery Range 0.871.80 35217 20.589.7 73477 47112 (1999)
area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 45 Mean (SD) 11.42 53.70 (12.37) 39.14 (5.36) 49.71 (3.32) 115.4 (7.75) 58.16 (18.15) Ahmad and Goni
soil, DEPZ, Savar) (4.63) (2010)
Environ Geochem Health

Range 6.2116.11 33.8967.58 31.3545.16 44.3152.21 103.20123.49 36.03 74.16


Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 50 Mean (SD) 10.67 51.22 (4.79) 40.97 (2.47) 46.0 (3.64) 116.1 (1.85) 38.79 (3.02) Goni et al. (2014)
soil, DEPZ, Savar) (2.59)
Range 7.2313.59 44.4658.93 37.4043.47 42.8850.96 113.48118.22 34.9042.78
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 40 Mean (SD) 0.52 42 75 25.7 201 3199 42 Rahman et al. (2012)
soil, DEPZ, Savar) Range
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 13 Mean (SD) 0.33 38.4 28.6 286.5 50.1 Kashem and Singh
soil, Tongi ceramic Range 0.110.58 2856 17.139.4 106465 2590 (1999)
industrial area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 15 Mean (SD) 0.48 163.7 56.4 206.5 51.1 Kashem and Singh
soil, Tongi textile, dying Range 0.240.58 29357 33.089.6 53354 3765 (1999)
industrial area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 13 Mean (SD) 0.53 63.5 36.9 125.9 88.2 Kashem and Singh
soil, Rupgonj sulfuric acid Range 0.420.64 4174 27.440.8 102147 59104 (1999)
producing industrial area)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated 36 Mean (SD) 7.1 (2.5) 384 (285) 311 (124) 199 (141) 64 (18) 192 (103) Islam et al. (2014b)
soil surrounding polluted Range 3.913 1581160 157519 84574 4193 104443
Turag, Buriganga,
Shitalaksha river)
Dinajpur (Coal mining area 15 Mean (SD) 107.3 29.96 188.6 160 22.44 98.58 Halim et al. (2015)
wastewater irrigated soil) Range 97.06129.73 15.0865.24 176.87216.70 108.73320.38 14.8341.97 53.77197.25
Dinajpur (Coal mining area 32 Mean (SD) 433 (95) 296 (111) 17.55 (5.66) Bhuiyan et al. (2010b)
wastewater irrigated soil) Range 155578 129470 8.2526.40
Patuakhali (polluted Paira 40 Mean (SD) 4.5 22 18 17 10 19 Islam et al. (2015b)
river irrigated soil) Range 0.613 3.741 3.746 4.532 2.326 3.936
Chittagong (city corporation 21 Mean (SD) 2.43 32.63 7.33 139.3 860.3 Alamgir et al. (2015)
area wastewater irrigated Range
area)
Bogra (polluted Korotoa 48 Mean (SD) 4.23 41.2 42.15 42.21 72.43 9.92 44.79 Islam et al. (2015f)
River irrigated soil) Range
Bangladesh Background 0.010.2 NA 27 20 68 3 22 Kashem and Singh
concentration (1999)

123
Environ Geochem Health

(China) = Threshold of elements in natural background soil in China, National Environmental Protection agency of China, GB 15618, 1995 (NEPA 1995); National safe limit
Concentrations are compared with, Bangladesh background concentration = Kashem and Singh 1999; non contaminated soil = Kabata-Pendias and Pendias 1992; Safe limit
limits of the Netherlands and China. The enrichment

KabataPendias and
of Cr in soils may be attributed to industrial discharge,
Pendias (1992)
for example, tanneries and textile factories which

VROM (2000)

VROM (2000)
NEPA (1995)
References

discharge chromates and dichromate as they use these


compounds as oxidants (Islam et al. 2014d). In all the
reference studies except the one conducted in Patu-
akhali (Islam et al. 2015b), the mean concentrations of

(Netherlands) and Target intervention value (Netherlands) = Target values and intervention values for soil remediation in Netherlands (VROM 2000)
Cu were higher than the background value. Studies
conducted in Dhaka exhibited high concentration of
210
Ni

Cu, and all of them exceed safe limits of the


30

40
35

Netherlands and China. Copper can be either a


micronutrient or a toxic element which depends on
the Cu concentration. Elevated levels of Cu in
As

29

55

agricultural soils result from the use of Cu-containing


compounds to control plant diseases and from appli-


cation of manure or sewage sludge (Romic et al.
2014). Mean concentrations of Pb in all the reference
100

100
140

720
Zn

studies except two of them (Alamgir et al. 2015; Islam


et al. 2015b) were above background concentration.
Studies conducted in coal mining areas (Halim et al.
2015; Bhuiyan et al. 2010b) had higher mean concen-
trations of Pb compared to the background value and
530
Pb

50

35
85

safe limits the Netherlands and China. Swaine (1990)


suggests that higher concentration of Pb in the soils
may be associated with the organic matter in the lower
190
Cu

ranked coals. Mean concentrations of Zn in all the


30

35
36

reference studies were higher than the background


concentration. The main sources of Zn pollution in soil
are industrial waste discharge and the use of liquid
100

100

380
Cr

manure, composted materials and agrochemicals


90

(such as fertilizers and pesticides) in agriculture


(Romic and Romic 2003). Other source of Zn in soils
may be associated with air emissions.
Cd

0.2
0.8

12
1

Mean concentrations of As in all the reference


studies were above the background value of soil. In
addition, two studies conducted from Dhaka (Islam
Contents

et al. 2014b; Rahman et al. 2012) showed mean As


concentrations above the target intervention vale of
Netherlands. Arsenic is a priority toxic element that
Samples

can cause arsenicosis and internal cancers, even in


trace amounts. As-contaminated ground water irriga-
tion is one the major source of As in soil of
Bangladesh. Other sources of high As in the soils
Target intervention value
Non contaminated soil
City (sampling site)

could be due to significant anthropogenic activity,


Table 6 continued

National safe limit

particularly industrial activities such as the metallur-


Safe limit (China)

(Netherlands)

(Netherlands)

gical and chemical industries and the use of arsenical


sprays (Yaylali-Abanuz 2011). All the reference
studies except the study conducted in Patuakhali
(Islam et al. 2015b) had mean Ni concentrations above

123
Environ Geochem Health

Table 7 Comparison of average concentrations (mg kg-1 dw) of heavy metals in wastewater irrigated soils from different Asian
cities (China, India and Pakistan) with the cities of Bangladesh
Location Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

5 Chinese Cities 176 Mean 1.8 60.99 200.6 181 327 77.83 53.64 *
4 Indian Cities 128 Mean 21.9 50.2 27 177 199 4.1 47.1 **
2 Pakistan Cities 204 Mean 5.35 33.5 15 29.45 35 42.01 ***
5 Bangladeshi Cities 380 Mean 3.95 100.2 80.83 92.20 182.7 553.8 136 This review
Non contaminated soil 1 100 30 50 100 30 Kabata-Pendias and
Pendias (1992)
Safe limit (China) 0.2 90 35 35 100 40 NEPA (1995)
National safe limit 0.8 100 36 85 140 29 35 VROM (2000)
(Netherlands)
Target intervention value 12 380 190 530 720 55 210 VROM (2000)
(Netherlands)
Concentrations are compared with, non contaminated soil = Kabata-Pendias and Pendias 1992; Safe limit (China) = Threshold of
elements in natural background soil in China, National Environmental Protection agency of China, GB 15618, 1995 (NEPA 1995);
National safe limit (Netherlands) and Target intervention value (Netherlands) = Target values and intervention values for soil
remediation in Netherlands (VROM 2000)
* Zhuang et al. (2009), Liu et al. (2005, 2011), Zhang et al. (2015), Bai et al. (2011)
** Chary et al. (2008), Jagtap et al. (2010), Singh and Kumar (2006), Sehgal et al. (2012)
*** Khan et al. (2013), Saleem et al. (2014)

the background value. One reference study (Alamgir Trace metal concentrations in sediment
et al. 2015) had mean Ni concentration above the
target intervention value of Netherlands. Nickel may Trace metals concentrations in sediments were studied
present a problem in agricultural land receiving wastes in Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogra, Dinajpur, Mymensingh
such as sewage sludge (Romic et al. 2012). In addition, and Patuakhali. The concentrations (mean values and
long-term and extensive use of agricultural land with range) of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As and Ni in sediments of
frequent application of pesticides may cause Ni the reference studies are presented in Table 8. The
accumulation in the topsoil (Nicholson et al. 2003). mean Cd concentrations of Buriganga river sediments
This results indicate that the polluted water irrigated (Ahmad et al. 2010; Mohiuddin et al. 2011; Saha and
soils are highly contaminated by Cd, Ni and Cu and Hossain 2011; Islam et al. 2014d; Bhuiyan et al. 2015)
less contaminated by Pb, Zn, As and Cr. were very high compared to the toxicity reference
value (TRV) of USEPA (USEPA 1999) and lowest
Comparison with other trace metal soil studies To effect level (LEL) proposed by Ontario Ministry of
compare metal concentrations of Bangladesh with that Environment and Energy in aquatic sediment quality
of other Asian countries where polluted water guidelines (Persuad et al. 1993). The River Buriganga
irrigation is a common practice, we selected studies flowing by the city of Dhaka is one of the most
from China, India and Pakistan (Table 7). These polluted rivers in Bangladesh. Many industries have
studies indicate that the soil is often contaminated by set up in and around the Dhaka city over the last two
metals due to polluted water irrigation (Liu et al. 2005; decades, and the number of new industries is contin-
Chary et al. 2008; Zhuang et al. 2009; Jagtap et al. ually increasing. Water quality of Buriganga has gone
2010). The mean concentrations of Cr and Ni in the through severe deterioration due to the development of
soils of Bangladesh are higher than that of other tannery industries in Hazaribagh. There are 277
countries (Table 7). However, Cd concentrations were tannery industries in the Hazaribagh area (Khan
found higher compared to the standards in studies et al. 2014). Some of them use modest technology
from India and Pakistan (Jagtap et al. 2010; Khan et al. and machinery, but most of them operate in very
2013). Mean concentration of Cu, Pb and Zn is higher conventional way as they did decades ago and release
in soils of China compared to other countries. untreated toxic chemical waste in the river. The mean

123
Table 8 Comparison of metal concentrations (mg kg-1 dw) in sediments of the cities in Bangladesh
City (sampling site) Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

123
Dhaka (Dhaka DEPZ 08 Mean (SD) 0.53 79.72 33.95 64.40 124.35 2.19 32.34 Rahman et al. (2014a)
surrounding river and Range 0.330.84 42.81111.74 19.1551.38 54.1373.92 93.04174.15 1.333.15 20.5850.21
canal sediment)
Dhaka (DEPZ surrounding 09 Mean (SD) 0.61 (0.19) 98 (26.31) 31 (8.91) 59.99 (13.01) 117 (26.45) 1.93 (0.74) 25.67 (10.46) Rahman et al. (2014b)
area river and bill Range 0.330.93 42.81137.04 18.0351.38 37.4886.52 78.42174.15 0.653.15 8.3250.21
sediment)
Dhaka (Buriganga River 05 Mean (SD) 0.80 (0.55) 101.20 184 79.80 (16.90) 502 (320.30) Saha and Hossain (2011)
sediment) (42.20) (133.80)
Range 0.401.60 52.80139.60 70346 60.30105.60 245984.90
Dhaka (Buriganga River 20 Mean (SD) 5.30 610 232 477 836 15 125 Mohiuddin et al. (2011)
sediment) Range
Dhaka (Buriganga River 09 Mean (SD) 3.33 (0.77) 177.53 27.85 (3.56) 69.75 (4.13) 200.45 (29.21) Ahmad et al. (2010)
sediment) (30.19)
Range
Dhaka (Buriganga River 15 Mean (SD) 7.29 1399 61.86 68.36 54.54 19.25 50 Bhuiyan et al. (2015)
sediment) Range 4.2011.28 10191884 17.3085.20 50.1280.20 45.4560.50 11.8226.40 3559
Dhaka (Turag, Buriganga 18 Mean (SD) 17 695 191 356 35 355 Islam et al. (2014d)
and Shitalakha river Range 829 1122471 65405 451846 1258 139606
sediment)
Dhaka (Turag River 05 Mean (SD) 0.28 (0.33) 43.02 (18.31) 50.40 (5.62) 32.78 (3.32) 139.48 Banu et al. (2013)
sediment) (42.48)
Range 0.000.80 32.0075.50 46.3060.00 28.3036.40 94.60190.10
Dhaka (Meghna River 11 Mean (SD) 0.23 (0.16) 31.73 (14.94) 9.47 (12.38) 79 (50.15) 76.11 (63.80) Hassan et al. (2015)
sediment) Range 0.090.69 12.6556.95 0.4044.85 29.41204.76 28.24218.85
Dhaka (Dhaleshwari river 09 Mean (SD) 3.23 (0.61) 117.56 44.05 64.22 (3.80) 181.06 (33.27) Ahmed et al. (2009b)
sediment) (19.57) (14.93)
Range 2.112.14 95.76141.27 31.5376.52 58.1970.26 135.02231.44
Dhaka (Dhaleshwar River 03 Mean (SD) 2.08 (0.01) 27.39 (1.29) 37.45 (0.33) 15.79 (1.25) Ahmed et al. (2012a)
sediment) Range
Chittagong (Karnaphuli 40 Mean (SD) 2.01 20.30 43.69 81.09 Ali et al. (2016)
river sediment) Range 0.633.56 11.5635.48 21.9873.42 37.23160.32
Bogra (Korotoa river 40 Mean (SD) 1.20 109 76 58 25 95 Islam et al. (2015e)
sediment) Range 0.262.80 55183 35118 3683 2.6052 37163
Dinajpur (Coal mining area 10 Mean (SD) 3.50 95.90 47.60 115.50 123.60 29.10 131.30 Halim et al. (2013)
drain, canal sediment) Range 34 48122 16138 92185 91169 1678 40262
Mymensingh (Khiru river 36 Mean (SD) 2.05 34.76 5.60 97.77 Rashid et al. (2012)
sediment) Range
Environ Geochem Health
Environ Geochem Health

Concentrations are compared with, USEPA TRV = USEPA Toxicity Reference Value (TRV) (USEPA 1999); Lowest Effect Level (LEL) (Ontario Canada) and Severe Effect
concentration of Cd in one of the studies from Dhaka
exceeded the severe effect level (SEL) (10 mg kg-1

Persuad et al. (1993)


Persuad et al. (1993)
Islam et al. (2015c)
dw) proposed by Ontario Ministry of Environment and
USEPA (1999)
Energy in its aquatic sediment quality guidelines
References

(Persuad et al. 1993). Studies conducted in other cities


of Bangladesh also had mean concentrations of Cd
above the TRV and LEL. Higher Cd concentration
Level (SEL) (Ontario Canada) = Guidelines for the Protection and Management of Aquatic Sediment Quality in Ontario, Canada (Persuad et al. 1993)
might be related to industrial activity, deposition of
organic and fine grain sediments, sedimentation of
1363

leachates from defused NiCd batteries and Cd plated


Ni

34

16
16
75

items (Mohiuddin et al. 2011).


The mean concentrations of Cr in sediments in all
the reference studies except one study from Chit-
2.6029

tagong (Ali et al. 2016) were above the TRV and LEL
As

12

33

value. Particularly, sediments from Buriganga River


6
6

had very high mean concentration of Cr compared to


the SEL value (110 mg kg-1 dw). Like soil, Cr can
accumulate in sediments from natural and anthro-
110
120
820
Zn

pogenic sources. Chromium tends to accumulate in



sediment with immobilization by geochemical pro-


cesses. In tannery industry, chromium (III) is used for
9.1058

leather tanning because it forms stable complexes with


250
Pb

25

31
31

amino groups in organic material. In the presence of


excessive oxygen, chromium (III) oxidizes into
Cr(VI), which is highly toxic and more soluble in
1065

water than are other forms (Chandra and Kulshreshtha


110
Cu

30

16
16

2004). Chromium (VI) can easily cross the cell


membrane, whereas the phosphatesulfate carrier also
transports the chromite anions.
1793

In all the reference studies, mean concentrations of


110
Cr

45

26
26

Cu were above the TRV and LEL value. Three studies


(Mohiuddin et al. 2011; Saha and Hossain 2011; Islam
0.151.60

et al. 2014d) from Dhaka city had mean Cu concen-


0.72
Cd

0.6
0.6
10

trations above SEL value. Higher level of Cu indicates


industrial and agrochemical input of Cu in water and
sediments. Copper can be retained by sediment
Mean (SD)
Contents

through exchange and specific adsorption but precip-


Range

itation may also be an important mechanism of


retention in polluted sediments. Out of 16 reference
Samples

studies, 12 of them had mean concentrations of Pb


above TRV and LEL values. Two studies (Mohiuddin
48

et al. 2011; Islam et al. 2014d) from Dhaka city had


mean concentrations of Pb above SEL value
(250 mg kg-1 dw). At SEL the sediment is considered
LEL (Ontario Canada)
City (sampling site)

Patuakhali (Paira river

SEL (Ontario Canada)


Table 8 continued

heavily polluted and likely to affect the health of


sediment-dwelling organisms. The USEPA has clas-
USEPA TRV
sediment)

sified Pb as a probable human carcinogen (Adriano


2001). Contamination from Pb is a good indicator of
traffic related sources or battery recycling plants and is

123
Environ Geochem Health

considered as an indicator of pollution by urban runoff into moderately contaminated to heavily contami-
water (Mukai et al. 1994). Out of 9 reference studies, 6 nated, while Cd falls into extremely contaminated
of them had mean concentrations of Zn above TRV category. In general Cd and As show the highest Igeo
value. One reference study from Dhaka (Mohiuddin values for most cities (Table 10). In all the cities, Igeo
et al. 2011) had mean concentration of Zn above SEL values for Cd and As ranges are wide, suggesting high
value. Except two studies (Rahman et al. 2014a, b) of spatial variability of soils properties within studied
Dhaka DEPZ areas (Savar), all reference studies had urban areas as well as number and variety of pollution
mean concentrations of As above TRV and LEL value. sources. Among the cities, Dhaka appears to be the
Two studies (Islam et al. 2014d; Ali et al. 2016) had highest contaminated city with high Igeo values for Cd,
mean concentrations of As above SEL value. As and Cu.
Untreated wastewater could be the main source of
As in sediment. Mean concentrations of Ni in all the Pollution level of metals in sediment
reference studies were above the TRV and LEL value.
Out of 11 reference studies, 7 of them had mean The Igeo values of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As and Ni in
concentrations of Ni above SEL value. High Ni sediments from different cities of Bangladesh are
concentration might be the geochemical trap for Ni presented in Table 11. The data suggest that Cr, Cu,
bonded in the fine-grained sediment; depositional Pb, Zn, and Ni fall into the category of uncontami-
acceleration of clay mineral and accumulation of Ni nated to moderately contaminated. Arsenic falls into
adsorbed on clay particles. These results indicate that moderately contaminated category, while Cd falls
the sediments are highly contaminated by Cr, Cu, Cd, into heavily to extremely contaminated category.
and Ni and less contaminated by Pb, Zn and As. Overall Cd and As show the highest Igeo values for
most of the cities, while high concentrations of other
Trace metal concentrations in vegetable metals are found in places depending on the source of
pollution.
Available studies on metal contamination of vegeta-
bles focused mainly on Dhaka city area. The mean Non-carcinogenic risk from the heavy metals
Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As and Ni in
vegetables as of the reference studies are presented in The THQ value estimated for non-carcinogenic risk
Table 9. and carcinogenic risk (CR) of adult inhabitants are
Except one study, all of them had mean concentra- presented in Table 12. THQ of each of the metals was
tions of Cd above FAO/WHO safe limit. Most of less than 1, except Cd, Cr, Pb and As in few cases. So,
studies conducted in and around Dhaka city area had intake of a single metal through consumption of
very high mean concentrations of Cd. Out of 9 vegetables does not pose a significant potential health
reference studies, respectively, 4 and 5 of them had hazard. However, TTHQ estimated from all the metals
Cu and Pb concentrations above FAO/WHO safe together was higher than 1, which indicates that
limit. The mean As concentrations of three reference consuming this vegetable may pose health risk.
studies were above safe limit. In case of Ni, except one Arsenic and Cd exhibited relatively higher THQ
study, all the studies mean concentrations were above compared to other metals. Thus, the non-carcinogenic
FAO/WHO safe limit. High metal concentrations in health hazards from exposure to heavy metals through
vegetable confirm the uptake of metals from the vegetables intake were found unsafe for human
polluted soils. consumption.

Pollution level of metals in soil Carcinogenic risk of As and Pb

The Igeo values of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, As and Ni in the Due to the lack of oral slope factor for the other five
soils subjected to polluted water irrigation in different metals, only the carcinogenic risk (CR) of As and Pb
cities are listed in Table 10. The data suggests that Cr, were estimated. The target carcinogenic risks derived
Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni fall into the category of uncon- from the intake of As and Pb through the consumption
taminated to moderately contaminated. Arsenic falls of vegetables were considered since these elements

123
Table 9 Comparison of the concentrations of metals (mg kg-1 fw) in vegetables from the cities of Bangladesh
City (sampling site) Vegetables Samples Contents Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

Dhaka (DEPZ surrounding area Stem amaranth, Raddish, Spinach 31 Mean 0.76 5.03 Khan et al. (2014)
wastewater irrigated vegetables)
Dhaka (Hazaribagh tannery Stem amaranth, Raddish, Spinach 31 Mean 0.03 0.85 0.24 0.01 Islam et al. (2014a)
Environ Geochem Health

surrounding area wastewater


irrigated vegetables)
Dhaka (Hazaribagh tannery Brinjal, Chili, Ladys finger, tomato, 59 Mean 0.32 0.86 2.00 2.02 3.84 1.54 Ahmad and Goni (2010)
surrounding area wastewater green cabbage
irrigated vegetables)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and 36 Mean 0.10 0.49 9.00 0.36 0.03 2.11 Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted tomato
Turag River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and 36 Mean 0.17 0.92 15.4 1.47 0.11 4.8 Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted tomato
Buriganga River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and 36 Mean 0.19 0.63 11.15 0.69 0.09 2.76 Islam et al. (2014b)
vegetables surrounding polluted tomato
Shitalakha River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and 36 Mean 0.15 0.68 11.75 0.83 0.07 3.22 Islam et al. (2015a)
vegetables surrounding polluted tomato
Turag, Buriganga and Shitalakha
River)
Dhaka (Wastewater irrigated Tomato, bottle gourd, brinjal, pumpkin, 48 Mean 0.21 1.44 18.1 0.76 51.2 0.05 5.34 Islam and Hoque (2014)
vegetables surrounding polluted green amaranth, red amaranth, chili and
Turag, River) banana
Patuakhali (Wastewater irrigated Brinjal, green amaranth, red amaranth, 120 Mean 0.11 0.83 2.53 0.5 0.24 1.87 Islam et al. (2015b)
vegetables surrounding Paira bottle gourd, tomato, pumpkin, chili,
River) carrot, bean, onion, potato, and lentil
Bogra (Wastewater irrigated Bean, cauliflower, spinach, brinjal, 130 Mean 0.06 0.62 1.7 0.49 2.83 0.24 0.46 Islam et al. (2015f)
vegetables surrounding polluted tomato, potato, onion, carrot, chili,
Korotoa River) bottle gourd, cucumber, green banana,
bitter gourd
FAO/WHO safe limit 0.05 2.3 10 0.5 20 0.1 1.50 FAO/WHO (1984)
Concentrations are compared with, FAO/WHO safe limit = Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program (FAO/WHO 1984)

123
Environ Geochem Health

Table 10 Geoaccumulation index of heavy metals in soils of different cities in Bangladesh


City Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

Dhaka 22.96 0.11 0.25 0.22 0.09 0.21 Ahmad and Goni (2010)
Dhaka 2.18 0.33 0.24 0.10 0.23 Kashem and Singh (1999)
Dhaka -10.45 0.25 0.19 0.10 0.20 Kashem and Singh (1999)
Dhaka -6.92 0.35 0.23 0.10 0.20 Kashem and Singh (1999)
Dhaka -5.99 0.29 0.20 0.09 0.23 Kashem and Singh (1999)
Dhaka 18.48 0.16 0.39 0.30 2.00 0.27 Islam et al. (2014b)
Dhaka 22.32 0.11 0.26 0.22 0.09 0.19 Goni et al. (2014)
Dhaka -6.17 0.10 0.30 0.18 0.10 3.88 0.19 Rahman et al. (2012)
Dinajpur 0.13 0.23 0.30 0.09 1.50 0.24 Halim et al. (2015)
Dinajpur 0.34 0.11 1.38 Bhuiyan et al. (2010b)
Patuakhali 14.18 0.08 0.20 0.16 1.11 0.15 Islam et al. (2015b)
Chittagong 8.37 0.24 0.11 0.09 0.35 Alamgir et al. (2015)
Bogra 13.60 0.10 0.26 0.21 0.08 1.10 0.20 Islam et al. (2015f)
Median 8.37 0.11 0.26 0.22 0.09 1.44 0.21

Table 11 Geoaccumulation index of heavy metals in sediments of different cities in Bangladesh


City Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni References

Dhaka 11.34 0.14 0.23 0.24 0.27 Ahmad et al. (2010)


Dhaka 18.73 0.20 0.28 0.24 0.07 1.42 0.20 Bhuiyan et al. (2015)
Dhaka 26.72 0.18 0.36 0.33 1.71 0.30 Islam et al. (2014d)
Dhaka -5.99 0.12 0.24 0.24 0.09 0.38 0.18 Rahman et al. (2014a)
Dhaka -12.00 0.10 0.27 0.20 0.09 Banu et al. (2013)
Dhaka -2.10 0.13 0.36 0.25 0.12 Saha and Hossain (2011)
Dhaka -4.66 0.13 0.24 0.23 0.09 0.32 0.17 Rahman et al. (2014b)
Dhaka -13.86 0.09 0.13 0.08 0.22 Hassan et al. (2015)
Dhaka 11.06 0.13 0.26 0.24 0.27 Ahmed et al. (2009b)
Dhaka 15.73 0.18 0.37 0.35 0.12 1.30 0.25 Mohiuddin et al. (2011)
Dhaka 6.91 0.09 0.25 0.16 Ahmed et al. (2012a)
Chittagong 6.58 0.08 0.21 2.11 Ali et al. (2016)
Bogra 2.47 0.13 0.30 0.23 1.54 0.24 Islam et al. (2015e)
Dinajpur 11.81 0.13 0.27 0.27 0.09 1.62 0.25 Halim et al. (2013)
Mymensingh 6.77 0.24 0.10 0.08 Rashid et al. (2012)
Patuakhali -3.10 0.10 0.23 0.18 1.19 0.18 Islam et al. (2015c)
Median 6.68 0.13 0.28 0.23 0.09 1.42 0.24

may promote both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk of the inhabitants due to metal exposure through
effects depending on the exposure dose. The CR consumption of vegetables should not be neglected.
values for As ranged from 0.000032 to 0.000756 and Here it is necessary to mention that shallow ground-
that of Pb ranged from 0.000004 to 0.000036, which water is widely used for drinking and irrigation
were higher than the acceptable risk limit (0.000001) purposes in Bangladesh. Studies conducted in Ban-
(USEPA 2010). Thus, the inhabitants consuming these gladesh reviled that shallow groundwater As concen-
vegetables are exposed to As and Pb and thereby tration (on local scale) ranges up to 0.8 mg/L (Das
subjected to carcinogenic risk. The potential health et al. 2004; Farid et al. 2003; Kurosawa et al. 2008;

123
Environ Geochem Health

Table 12 Non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk due to vegetable consumption in Bangladesh


City THQ Carcinogenic risk References
Cd Cr Cu Pb Zn As Ni TTHQ As Pb

Dhaka 0.04 0.04 0.08 Khan et al. (2014)


Dhaka 0.13 0.59 0.13 0.07 0.92 0.000032 0.000004 Islam et al. (2014a)
Dhaka 1.34 0.60 0.11 1.06 0.03 0.16 3.30 0.000036 Ahmad and Goni (2010)
Dhaka 0.42 0.34 0.47 0.19 0.21 0.22 1.86 0.000095 0.000006 Islam et al. (2014b)
Dhaka 0.71 0.64 0.81 0.77 0.77 0.50 4.21 0.000347 0.000026 Islam et al. (2014b)
Dhaka 0.79 0.44 0.59 0.36 0.63 0.29 3.11 0.000284 0.000012 Islam et al. (2014b)
Dhaka 0.63 0.47 0.62 0.44 0.49 0.34 2.99 0.000221 0.000015 Islam et al. (2015a)
Dhaka 0.88 1.00 0.95 0.40 0.36 0.35 0.56 4.51 0.000158 0.000014 Islam and Hoque (2014)
Patuakhali 0.46 0.58 0.13 0.26 1.68 0.20 3.31 0.000756 0.000009 Islam et al. (2015b)
Bogra 0.25 0.43 0.09 0.26 0.02 1.68 0.05 2.78 0.000756 0.000009 Islam et al. (2015f)

Rahman et al. 2013). Besides, the irrigation waters are As a whole, according to the above analyses, Cd, As,
usually taken from shallow groundwater which con- Cr, Cu, Pb and Ni are selected as the priority control
tains relatively higher concentration of As (Kile et al. heavy metals in soils of Bangladesh. Special attention
2007). Although few studies elicited that the As should be paid to these priority control metals in order
concentration in a crop correlates positively to the As to target the lowest threats to human health.
concentration of the groundwater used for irrigation
and to the As of the soil (Farid et al. 2003; Kurosawa Recommendations for management efforts
et al. 2008), several studies testified lack of a strong
correlation for this (Senanayake and Mukherji 2014). In Bangladesh, the discharge of wastewater into the
Moreover, As concentration in crops is found to vary water environment is often untreated or only partially
widely in different crop species (Williams et al. 2006) treated and the use of polluted water in agriculture is
and in spatial scale (Farid et al. 2003). Therefore, largely unregulated. This poses health risks to farmers
future studies may assess concentration of As in rice and communities consuming the agricultural products.
and other crops grown with arsenic-contaminated It also has adverse effects on the ecosystems.
groundwater irrigation compared to that of wastewater Government must take serious steps to address metal
irrigation and their associate health risks. pollution generated by industrial, municipal and
agrochemical sources as well as the related human
Priority control components health risks due to water, soil, sediment and food
contamination caused by those metals. The most
Based on the comparisons with the environmental effective approach to mitigate metal contamination of
quality standard of Netherlands soil, Cr and As soil is efficient control of the pollution sources and
concentrations of two reference studies, and Cu and strict enforcement of environmental regulations, espe-
Ni concentrations of one reference study exceed their cially in terms of waste discharge (Chen et al. 1999). In
corresponding target intervention value, which are Bangladesh, a growing number of small-scale indus-
currently hazardous to agricultural production and tries are causing severe pollution to the environment,
human health. Therefore, Cr, Cu, As, and Ni are largely due to no wastewater treatment facilities. It is
selected as priority control heavy metals. According to difficult for small-scale industries to install their own
the pollution assessment using Igeo, the nationwide wastewater treatment plant since the installation cost
soils have been extremely contaminated by Cd and is high. Therefore, integrated wastewater treatment
moderately contaminated by As. From this point, Cd plant may be useful to reduce the pollution level. In
and As are identified. In addition, health risk assess- addition, emphasis should be placed on supporting
ment showed carcinogenic health risk from As and Pb. sustainable and integrated approaches (i.e., regulation,

123
Environ Geochem Health

training and incentives to apply appropriate pollution Cr, Cu and As in waters for several reference studies
control technology). Although many countries have were higher than the FAO irrigation water quality
regulations governing wastewater discharge, these standard. Based on the results of the pollution
regulations are rarely enforced, and knowledge and assessments, it is apparent that polluted water irrigated
information is typically not available to communities soils are highly polluted by metals. Mean concentra-
associated with polluted water irrigation. This is more tions of Cd in all reference studies were very high
likely to happen in countries like Bangladesh where compared to the Bangladesh background value and
wastewater management is a relatively new concept. exceed the safe limit of China. Besides, mean
Safe irrigation water agriculture practices require concentration of Cr in one reference study and mean
more innovative and integrated planning and close concentration of As in two reference studies were
cooperation among government authorities, farming higher than the target intervention value of Nether-
communities, urban dwellers and relevant lands. The Igeo values suggest that the contamination
stakeholders. of Cd, As, Cu, Pb and Ni is widespread in urban soils
and sediments of the cities. Soils of Dhaka appear to be
highly contaminated with high Igeo values for Cd, As
Limitations and Cu. Polluted water irrigation and agrochemicals
are the major sources of metals in soil. Vegetable con-
The articles on metals pollution of water, soil, tamination by metals shows carcinogenic and non-
sediment and vegetables utilized for this study are carcinogenic risks to the public. As a whole, Cd, As,
mostly from Dhaka city and only few from other cities Cu, Pb, Ni and Cr are selected as the priority control
of Bangladesh. Therefore, this study may not fully heavy metals. This review provides quantitative
represent the overall water, soil, sediment and veg- evidence demonstrating the critical need for strength-
etable contamination situation of Bangladesh. How- ened wastewater discharge regulations in order to
ever, it provides an idea about heavy metal provide health safety from metal discharges into the
contamination of highly urbanized and industrialized environment.
Dhaka city and few other cities of Bangladesh.
Furthermore, some discrepancies may occur in the Acknowledgements Financial support from the Erasmus
Mundus Action 2 Project (EXPERTS-SUSTAIN) during this
accumulation of data due to variations among different study is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also gratefully
studies, which may impact the consistency of the acknowledge the comments of the anonymous reviewers that
obtained data. However, these discrepancies are not helped improve the original manuscript.
large enough to affect the results of general assessment
because the research methods used by the selected
studies are very similar to one another and are
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