Spatial distribution of heavy metals in soil, water, and vegetables of farms in Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran

Afshin Maleki, Hassan Amini, Shahrokh Nazmara, Shiva Zandi, Amir Hossein Mahvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Heavy metals are ubiquitous elsewhere in nature and their measurement in environment is necessary to develop health management strategies. In this study, we aimed to find out concentrations and spatial patterns of heavy metals in main farms of Sanandaj in Kurdistan, Iran. Methods: Over May to October 2012, six farms were selected to analyze concentrations and spatial patterns of several heavy metals, namely aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in their soil, irrigation water, and edible vegetables. Overall, 36 samples of soi and water and 72 samples of vegetables including coriander (Coriandrum sativum), dill (Anethum graveolens), radish (Raphanus sativus) root and radish leaf were collected. The concentrations of metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The spatial surfaces of heavy metals were created using geospatia information system. Results: The order of metals in soil was Al > Zn > Ni > Cu > Cr > Pb > Co > As > Cd while in water it was Cr > Co > Zn > Pb > Cu > Ni > Al = As = Cd. The order of heavy metals in vegetables was Al > Zn > Cu > Cr > Ni > Pb > Co > As > Cd. Totally, the minimum concentrations of Al, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in radish root while the maximum of Al, Co, Cr, and Ni were found in radish leaf. The minimum concentrations of Cd and Cr and maximum concentrations of Cu and Zn were also deciphered in dill. Noteworthy, coriander had the minimum concentrations of Co and Ni. The concentrations of Cr and Pb in vegetables were more than maximum allowable limits of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Conclusion: In summary, albeit the concentrations of heavy metals in soil and water samples were below FAO and the WHO standards, vegetables were contaminated by chromium and lead.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1
JournalJournal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • GIS
  • Heavy metals
  • Iran
  • Mapping
  • Radish
  • Soil
  • Vegetables
  • Water


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