Antimony Accumulation Risk in Lettuce Grown in Brazilian Urban Gardens

Silvia Mancarella, Giuseppina Pennisi, Daniela Gasperi, Livia Marchetti, Vivian Loges, Francesco Orsini, Giorgio Gianquinto, Gilmo Vianello, Livia Vittori Antisari


More than 80% of the Brazilian population inhabits urban areas. Diffused poverty and the lack of fresh vegetables have generated malnutrition and unbalanced diets. Thus, the interest in growing food locally, in urban allotments and community gardens, has increased. However, urban agriculture may present some risks caused by the urban pollution. Road traffic is considered the biggest source of heavy metals in urban areas. Hence, the objective of the study was the assessment of the accumulation of heavy metals in an urban garden in the city of Recife, at different distances from a road with high traffic burden. The results showed that the distance from the street decreased the accumulation of many potentially toxic elements. Furthermore, the human health risk was estimated, revealing that greater danger was associated with the accumulation of antimony. Concentration of other elements in the leaf tissues were within previously reported thresholds.


heavy metals; pollutants; urban horticulture; road traffic

Full Text:

PDF (English)


AKBAR K.F., HALE W.H.G., HEADLEY A.D., ATHAR M. (2006) Heavy metal contamination of roadside soils of northern England. Soil Water Res, 4:158-163.

AGBENIN J.O., DANKO M., WELP G. (2009) Soil and vegetable compositional relationships of eight potentially toxic metals in urban garden fields from northern Nigeria. J Sci Food Agric, 89:49-54. Doi:10.1002/jsfa.3409

ALLOWAY B.J. (2004) Contamination of soils in domestic gardens and allotments: a brief overview. Land Contam Reclam, 12:179-187. Doi:10.2462/09670513.658

ANVISA (2013) Resoluçao-RDC N°42, de 29 de Agosto de 2013. Diario oficial da uniao-seçao 1 ISSN 1677-7042, 168:33-35.

BRANCO M.C., DE ALCÂNTARA F.A. (2012) Hortas comunitárias, vol 3: experiências do Brasil e dos Estados Unidos. Embrapa, Brasilia.

CHEN X., XIA X.H., ZHAO Y., ZHANG P. (2010) Heavy metal concentrations in roadside soils and correlation with urban traffic in Beijing, China. J. Hazard Mater, 181:640-646. Doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.05.060

CORRIGAN M.P. (2011) Growing what you eat: developing community gardens in Baltimore, Maryland. Appl Geog, 31:1232-1241. Doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.01.017

CUI Y.J., ZHU Y.G., ZHAI R.H., CHEN D.Y., HUANG Y.Z., QIU Y., LIANG J.Z. (2004) Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables in an area near a smelter in Nanning, China. Environ Intern, 30:785-791. Doi:10.1016/j.envint.2004.01.003

DUONG T.T., LEE B.K. (2011) Determining contamination level of heavy metals in road dust from busy traffic areas with different characteristics. J Environ Manag, 92:554-562. Doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.09.010

EVERS A. (2011) Food choices and local food access among Perth's community gardeners. Local Environ, 16:585-602. Doi:10.1080/13549839.2011.575354

FALESI I.C. (1964) Levantamento de reconhecimento detalhado dos solos trecho 150-171 estrada de Serro do Amapá. Instituto des Pesquisas Experimentação Agropecuárias do Norte. Boletin Tecnico, 45:1-53.

FECONDINI M., DAMASIO DE FARIA A.C., MICHELON N., MEZZETTI M., ORSINI F., GIANQUINTO G. (2010) Learning the value of gardening: results from an experience of community based simplified hydroponics in north-east Brazil. Acta Hortic, 881:111-116.

GEBEL T., CHRISTENSEN S., DUNKELBERG H. (1996) Comparative and environ-mental genotoxicity of antimony and arsenic. Anticancer Res, 17:2603-2607.

GHERARDI M., PONTALTI F., VIANELLO G., VITTORI ANTISARI L. (2009) Heavy metals in the soil-plant system: monitoring urban and extra-urban parks in the Emilia Romagna Region (Italy). Agrochimica, 53:196-208.

GÓMEZ D.R., GINÉ M.F., BELLATO A.C.S., SMICHOWSKI P. (2005) Antimony: a traffic-related element in the atmosphere of Buenos Aires, Argentina. J Environ Monit, 7:1162-1168. Doi:10.1039/B508609D

GUERRA F., TREVIZAM A.R., MURAOKA T., MARCANTE N.C., CANNIATTI-BRAZACA S.G. (2012) Heavy metals in vegetables and potential risk for human health. Sci Agric, 69:54-60. Doi:10.1590/S0103-90162012000100008

HE, M., WANG X., WU F., FU, Z. (2012) Antimony pollution in China. Sci Total Environ, 421:41-50. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.06.009

IBGE (2010) Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica. CENSO. Available online at:

IIJIMA A., SATO K., YANO K., KATO M., KOZAWA K., FURUTA N. (2008) Emission factor for antimony in brake abrasion dusts as one of the major atmospheric antimony sources. Environ Sci Tech, 42:2937-2942. Doi: 10.1021/es702137g

IUSS W. (2014) World reference base for soil resources 2014 (No. 106). World soil resources reports, FAO, Rome.

JAN F.A., ISHAQ M., KHAN S., IHSANULLAH I., AHMAD I., SHAKIRULLAH M. (2010) A comparative study of human health risks via consumption of food crops grown on wastewater irrigated soil (Peshawar) and relatively clean water irrigated soil (lower Dir). J Hazard Mater, 179:612-621. Doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.03.047

JEAN-SORO L., LE GUERN C., BECHET B., LEBEAU T., RINGEARD M.F. (2015) Origin of trace elements in an urban garden in Nantes, France. J Soils Sediments, 15:1802-1812. Doi:10.1007/s11368-014-0952-y

KABATA-PENDIAS A. (2010) Trace elements in soils and plants. CRC press.

KHAN S., CAO Q., ZHENG Y.M., HUANG Y.Z., ZHU, Y.G. (2008) Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environ Poll, 152:686-692. Doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2007.06.056

LECLERCQ C., ARCELLA D., PICCINELLI R., SETTE S., LE DONNE C., TURRINI A. (2009) The Italian national food consumption survey INRANSCAI 2005–2006: main results in terms of food consumption. Public Health Nutr, 12:2504-2532. Doi:10.1017/ S1368980009005035

LI J., XIE Z.M., XU J.M., SUN Y.F. (2006) Risk assessment for safety of soils and vegetables around a lead/zinc mine. Environ Geochem Health, 28:37-44. Doi:10.1007/ s10653-005-9009-x

LI Q., CHEN Y., FU H., CUI Z., SHI L., WANG L., LIU Z. (2012) Health risk of heavy metals in food crops grown on reclaimed tidal flat soil in the Pearl River Estuary, China. J Hazard Mat, 227:148-154. Doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.05.023

MADALENO I. (2000) Urban agriculture in Belém, Brazil. Cities, 17:73-77. Doi:10.1016/ S0264-2751(99)00053-0

MASSAQUOI L.D., MA H., LIU X.H., HAN P.Y., ZUO S.M., HUA Z.X., LIU D.W. (2015) Heavy metal accumulation in soils, plants, and hair samples: An assessment of heavy metal exposure risks from the consumption of vegetables grown on soils previously irrigated with wastewater. Environ Sci Pollut Res, 22:18456-18468. Doi:10.1007/s11356-015-5131-1

MCBRIDE M.B., SHAYLER H.A., SPLIETHOFF H.M., MITCHELL R.G., MARQUEZ-BRAVO L.G., FERENZ G.S., BACHMAN S. (2014) Concentrations of lead, cadmium and barium in urban garden-grown vegetables: the impact of soil variables. Environ Poll, 194:254-261. Doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2014.07.036

MONACI F., BARGAGLI R. (1997) Barium and other trace metals as indicators of vehicle emissions. Water Air Soil Poll, 100:89-98. Doi:10.1023/A:1018318427017

NABULO G., ORYEM-ORIGA H., DIAMOND M. (2006) Assessment of lead, cadmium, and zinc contamination of roadside soils, surface films, and vegetables in Kampala City, Uganda. Environ Res, 101:42-52. Doi:10.1016/j.envres.2005.12.016

NASER H.M., SULTANA S., GOMES R., NOOR S. (2012) Heavy metal pollution of soil and vegetable grown near roadside at Gazipur. Bangladesh J Agric Res, 37:9-17. Doi:10.3329/bjar.v37i1.11170

ORSINI F., MICHELON N., SCOCOZZA F., GIANQUINTO G. (2009) Farmers-to-consumers pipe line: an associative example of sustainable soil-less horticulture in urban and peri-urban areas. Acta Hortic, 809:209-220.

PAPADAKIS J. (1970) Climates of the world - Their classification, similitudes, differences and geographic distribution. Ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 47 p.

PAPADAKIS J. (1975) Climates of the world and their agricultural potentialities. Ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 200 p.

RATTAN R.K., DATTA S.P., CHHONKAR P.K., SURIBABU K., SINGH A.K. (2005) Longterm impact of irrigation with sewage effluents on heavy metal content in soils, crops and groundwater-a case study. Agric, Ecosyst Environ, 109:310-322. Doi:10.1016/j.agee. 2005.02.025

RODRIGUEZ-FLORES M., RODRIGUEZ-CASTELLON E. (1982) Lead and cadmium levels in soil and plants near highways and their correlation with traffic density. Environ Pollu Ser B, Chem Phys, 4:281-290. Doi:10.1016/0143-148X(82)90014-3

SALVAGIO MANTA D., ANGELONE M., BELLANCA A., NERI R., SPROVIERI M. (2002) Heavy metals in urban soils: a case study from the city of Palermo (Sicily), Italy. Sci Total Environ, 300:229-243. Doi:10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00273-5

SANTOS E.E., LAURIA D.C., DA SILVEIRA C.P. (2004) Assessment of daily intake of trace elements due to consumption of foodstuffs by adult inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro city. Sci Total Environ, 327:69-79. Doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.01.016

SÄUMEL I., KOTSYUK I., HÖLSCHER M., LENKEREIT C., WEBER F., KOWARIK I. (2012) How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighborhoods in Berlin, Germany. Environ Pollut, 165:124-132. Doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2012.02.019

SCHOENEBERGER P.J., WYSOCKI D.A., BENHAM E.C. Soil Survey Staff 2012. Field book for describing and sampling soils, Version 3.0. Nat. Soil Surv Ctr, Lincoln, NE.

SERVIÇO NATIONAL DES PESQUISAS AGRONÔMICAS (1962) Levantamento de reconhecimento dos solos da da regiao sol influencia do reservatorio de furnas. Rio de Janeiro, Boletin, 13:462.

SHARMA S., PRASAD F.M. (2010) Accumulation of lead and cadmium in soil and vegetable crops along major highways in Agra (India). J Chem, 7:1174-1183

SKELDON R. (2012) Going round in circles: circular migration, poverty alleviation and marginality. Int Migr, 50:43-60. Doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2012.00751.x

THÉRY H., BRUNO L., DUPONT V., LANDY F., LUCHIARI A., SAGLIO-YATZIMIRSKY M.C., ZÉRAH M.H. (2013) National and Urban Contexts of the Four Metropolises. In Megacity Slums: Social Exclusion, Space and Urban Policies in Brazil and India, edited by Saglio-Yatzimirsky, M.-C., Landy, F. World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 51-120.

TURNER B. (2011) Embodied connections: sustainability, food systems and community gardens. Local Environ, 16:509-522. doi:10.1080/13549839.2011.569537

US-EPA IRIS (2006) United States, Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Risk Information System.

VILLAS-BOAS M.L.S. (2006) How community gardens function: a case study of “Complexo Aeroporto”, Ribeirao Preto, S.P. Brazil. MSc thesis, Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Ohio, Cincinnati, OH, USA. Accessed 9 Nov 2012

VITTORI ANTISARI L., BIANCHINI G., DINELLI E., FALSONE G., GARDINI A., SIMONI A., TASSINARI R., VIANELLO G. (2014), Critical evaluation of an inter calibration project focused on the definition of new multi-element soil reference materials (AMS-MO1 and AMS-ML1). EQA, 15:41-64. DOI:10.6092/issn.2281-4485/4553.

VITTORI ANTISARI L., ORSINI F., MARCHETTI L., VIANELLO G., GIANQUINTO G. (2015) Heavy metal accumulation in vegetables grown in urban gardens. Agron Sustain Dev, 35:1139-1147. Doi:10.1007/s13593-015-0308-z

VON UEXKÜLL O., SKERFVING S., DOYLE R., BRAUNGART M. (2005) Antimony in brake pads-a carcinogenic component? J Clean Produc, 13:19-31. Doi:10.1016/j.jclepro .2003.10.008

WINKLER PRINS A.M. (2002) House-lot gardens in Santarém, Pará, Brazil: linking rural with urban. Urban Ecosyst, 6:43-65. Doi:10.1023/A:1025914629492

WOLFRAM H., DEBUS R., STEUBING L. (2000) Mobility of antimony in soil and its availability to plants. Chemosphere, 41:1791-1798. Doi:10.1016/S0045-6535(00)00037-0

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2281-4485/6306


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Silvia Mancarella, Giuseppina Pennisi, Daniela Gasperi, Livia Marchetti, Vivian Loges, Francesco Orsini, Giorgio Gianquinto, Gilmo Vianello, Livia Vittori Antisari

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Online ISSN 2281-4485

The journal is hosted and mantained by ABIS-AlmaDL. [privacy]