The aims of this study were to investigate the uptake of seven trace elements and five PAHs in crop plants in order to establish advice regarding consumption of fruit and vegetables grown in soils contaminated by trace elements and PAHs. In a field experiment, vegetables were grown in two contaminated soils and in a reference soil, whereas fruits were collected from uncontaminated and contaminated private gardens. The results showed elevated levels of several trace elements and PAHs in the vegetables from contaminated soil. Bioconcentration factors (BCF values), based on dry weight, were below 1, except for those of Cd in lettuce and carrot with peel from uncontaminated soil. In most cases, BCF values were decreasing with increasing concentrations in soil. From the heavily contaminated soil, BCF values for Pb in lettuce, potato, and carrot with peel were 0.001, 0.002, and 0.05, respectively, and those for benzo[a]pyrene were 0.004, 0.002, and 0.002, respectively. For most metals in most vegetables, linear regression showed good correlation between soil and crop concentrations. For PAHs, such good correlation was generally not found. The contents of contaminants in fruits were generally low and no correlation with the level of contamination in the soils was found.
Samsøe-Petersen, L., Larsen, E. H., Larsen, P. B., & Bruun, P. (2002). Uptake of trace elements and PAHs by fruit and vegetables from contaminated soils. Environmental Science & Technology, 36(14), 3057-3063. https://doi.org/10.1021/es015691t