Heavy metals in the irrigation water, soils and vegetables in the Philippi horticultural area in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    The aims of this study were to investigate the extent of heavy metal contamination in the Philippi horticultural area in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn were determined in the irrigation water, soils and vegetables in both winter and summer cropping seasons with an ICP-AES and tested against certified standards. Differences were found in heavy metal concentrations between the winter and summer cropping seasons in the irrigation water, soils and vegetables. Certain heavy metals exceeded the maximum permissible concentrations in the irrigation water, soils and vegetables produced in South Africa. These toxic concentrations were predominantly found in the summer cropping season for the soils and in the crops produced in winter. It is thus suggested that further studies are carried out in the Philippi horticultural area to determine the sources of the heavy metals to try and mitigate the inputs thereof and therefore reduce the amount of heavy metals entering the human food chain.