DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S14.109

HEAVY METALS CONTAMINATION OF COMMON BLACKBERRY IN AN AREA WITH A HISTORICAL POLLUTION - COPSA MICA (ROMANIA)

T. Mihaiescu, A. Odagiu, G. Goji, R. Mihaiescu, I. Oroian
Tuesday 12 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-05-8 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 32, 845-852 pp, DOI: DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S14.109

ABSTRACT

The study investigates the degree of heavy-metals contamination of a non-timber forest species in terms of food chain contamination (plants-animals/plants-man) in an area with a historical pollution in the context of ceasing the main activity of the major air pollutant, Sometra S.A. Copsa Mica, since 2009. The heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd) content in common blackberry (leaf and fruit), was determined in eleven sampling areas located at different distances and altitudes, in the forestry area surrounding the city of Copsa Mica (Romania). In order to assess the results, one control plot, a “clean area”, was chosen at 26.40 km from the source of the main polluter, near the city of Blaj, Alba County. The analyses were performed using a Perkin–Elmer Analyst 700 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Zn, Pb and Cd were found at concentration exceeding the permissible values with factors ranging from 2.6 to 5.83 times. The pattern of heavy metal distribution was correlated with the spatial positioning relative to the main pollution source, and average air dispersion conditions of the area. In both, blackberry leaves and fruits, the Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu contents record the same evolution against distance from the source of pollution and altitude. The differences between the studied metals are statistically assured at different threshold of significance, except Cu, Cd and Zn in blackberry leaves, Cd and Zn, in blackberry fruits, which recorded variations statistically not significant (p>0.05), if quantified at different distances. Strong to moderate correlations may be identified between Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu content from blackberry fruits and leaves, and distance from the source of pollution, and altitude. The factors identified as being determining for the accumulation of such quantities of heavy metals are: closeness of the sampling area to the main pollution source, also the morpho-analytic characteristics and particularities of the blackberry leaves (large surface of the foliage limb, the presence of hair on the inferior epidermis). The harvested blackberry products in Copsa Mica area showed the potentially toxic heavy metals that exceed the maximum permitted limits. In the case of predominance of atmospheric deposits, blackberry leaves retain with high efficiency particles containing heavy metals. The consumption of medicines but also food products (blackberry fruits) can lead in the time to heavy accumulation of Pb and Cd in the human body (especially in children) with a real health risk. As to therapeutic products (blackberry leaves) we can state that drinking infusions on a regular basis with significant traces of Pb and Cd can transfer in the liquid being a health danger subsequently.

Keywords: common blackberry, heavy metal pollution, Copsa Mica, flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer

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