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Type: Journal article
Title: Heavy metals in soils and crops in southeast Asia. 2. Thailand
Author: Zarcinas, B.
Pongsakul, P.
McLaughlin, M.
Cozens, G.
Citation: Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 2004; 26(4):359-371
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publ
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0269-4042
1573-2983
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Bernhard A. Zarcinas, Pichit Pongsakul, Mike J. McLaughlin and Gill Cozens
Abstract: A reconnaissance soil geochemical and concomitant plant survey based on 318 soil (0-15 cm) and 122 plant samples was used for the assessment of heavy metal pollution of agricultural soils and crops of Thailand. Arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were determined in soils using aqua regia digestion, and in plants using nitric acid digestion. Organic carbon (C), pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and available phosphorus (P) were determined on the soil samples using appropriate procedures. Results indicated that concentrations of heavy metals varied widely among the different regions of Thailand. Regression analysis between the concentrations of metals in soil (aqua regia extractable) and edible plant parts indicated a small but positive relationship for Cd in all the plants sampled in the survey (R2 = 0.081, p < 0.001). There was also a positive relationship between soil and plant Cd concentrations in rice (R2 = 0.242, p < 0.010), and negative relationships for Zn in rice (R2 = 0.385, p < 0.001), and Cu (R2 = 0.355, p < 0.001) and Zn (R2 = 0.122, p < 0.026) in glutinous rice. Principal component analysis of the soil data suggested that concentrations of As, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni and Pb were strongly correlated with concentrations of Al and Fe, which is suggestive of evidence of background variations due to changes in soil mineralogy. Thus, the evidence for widespread contamination of soils by these elements through agricultural activities is not strong. On the other hand, Cd and Zn were strongly correlated with organic matter and concentrations of available and aqua regia extractable P. This is attributed to input of contaminants in agricultural fertilisers and soil amendments (e.g. manures, composts).
Keywords: Plants, Edible; Metals, Heavy; Soil Pollutants; Regression Analysis; Environmental Monitoring; Food Contamination; Principal Component Analysis; Agriculture; Thailand
RMID: 0020042335
DOI: 10.1007/s10653-005-4670-7
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

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