Does intake of trace elements through urban gardening in Copenhagen pose a risk to human health?

Marlies Warming, Mette G. Hansen, Peter E. Holm, Jakob Magid, Thomas H. Hansen, Stefan Trapp

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the potential health risk from urban gardening. The concentrations of the trace elements arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in five common garden crops from three garden sites in Copenhagen were measured. Concentrations (mg/kg dw) of As were 0.002e0.21, Cd 0.03e0.25, Cr < 0.09e0.38, Cu 1.8e8.7, Ni < 0.23e0.62, Pb 0.05e1.56, and Zn 10e86. Generally, elemental concentrations in the crops do not reflect soil concentrations, nor exceed legal standards for Cd and Pb in food. Hazard quotients (HQs) were calculated from soil ingestion, vegetable consumption, measured trace element concentrations and tolerable intake levels. The HQs for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn do not indicate a health risk through urban gardening in Copenhagen. Exposure to Pb contaminated sites may lead to unacceptable risk not caused by vegetable consumption but by unintentional soil ingestion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume202
Pages (from-to)17-23
ISSN0269-7491
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Urban gardening
  • Urban soils
  • Trace elements
  • Heavy metals
  • Risk assessment
  • Hazard quotients

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