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Study of heavy metal in sewage sludge and in Chinese cabbage grown in soil amended with sewage sludge

P Wang
S Zhang
C Wang
J Hou
P Guo
Z Lin


The study was performed to investigate the heavy metal content and availability for crops in sewage sludge and its accumulation in Chinese cabbage grown in sewage sludge amended soil. We determined
the total and chemical fraction of As, Cr, Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn, Fe, Mg and Mn in sewage sludge and the total content of these metals in Chinese cabbage grown in soil amended with sewage sludge. Total content of all metals (except for As) was below the top limits for land application of sewage sludge in China. The majority of As, Cd, Pb, Zn and Fe was present in the residual fraction (70 – 95%) of the total concentration, and 21% of Cd, 59% of Cr and 56% of Cu were present in oxidizable fraction in sewage sludge. Most of the content of metals increased in Chinese cabbage with the increase in sludge amendments ratio, and the content of heavy metal As, Cd, Cr and Zn exceeded the top limits of metals content in China. Our results suggested that application of sewage sludge could enhance the output of vegetable while the risk of heavy metal should be of concern.

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eISSN: 1684-5315