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Heavy Metals Contaminants in Watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. BR.): Toxicity and Risk Assessment for Humans along the Swat River Basin, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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submitted on 2023-12-26, 06:32 and posted on 2024-01-10, 12:50 authored by Nasrullah Khan, Jawad Khan, Rafi Ullah, Kishwar Ali, David Aaron Jones, Muhammad Ezaz Hasan Khan

This research aimed to investigate the bioaccumulation and health risk associated with absorption of the selected heavy metals (HMs) i.e., lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) in a wild leafy vegetable Nasturtium officinale that grows along the Swat River in swampy areas. The areas were categorized using the ecological risk index (RI), which indicates how heavy metal concentrations in soil and plants change over time. The bioaccumulation factor was greater than that at the 400 ≤ RI sites, indicating a probable health risk of these metals from N. officinale consumption. Furthermore, the health risk index for Cd and Pb was more significant, i.e., greater than one in the majority of the samples, indicating health concerns associated with consuming N. officinale from the study site. However, Zn and Cu levels were lower than the nutritionally needed levels, raising the risk of deficiency in the population. Plants cultivated in Pb and Cd-polluted sites were nutrient deficient in Cu and Zn. Intake of such plants can expose people to HM contamination and nutritional deficiencies. The results concluded that the plants accumulated significant HM contents and may have health concerns but are safe for consumption in children and adults.

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Published in: Sustainability
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • University of Doha for Science and Technology
  • College of General Education - UDST
  • College of Health Sciences - UDST
  • College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (2002-2022)
  • School of General Education - CNA-Q (2002-2022)

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