Macronutrients, trace metals and health risk assessment in agricultural soil and edible plants of Mahshahr City, Iran

Shabnam Mohammadi, Behnam Keshavarzi, Farid Moore, Seyed Fakhreddin Afzali, Armin Sorooshian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this study, we evaluate the geochemistry of macro- (Fe, P, Ca, S, K, Na, Mg) and micronutrients (Mo, Cu, Pb, Zn, Co, Mn, Cd, Sr, Cr, Hg, Se), along with possible health risks of heavy metals contamination in agricultural soils and vegetables of the Mahshahr industrial port in Iran. Calculation of geochemical coefficients revealed the low pollution load of Mahshahr agricultural soils. Most of the investigated elements exhibited lower concentrations in soil than international standards. Element concentrations in plant samples were far below the permissible values set by environmental agencies. Based on permissible values, there was deficiency of several soil elements, including Cu, in vegetables because they are mostly present in the soil residual phase. An exception was Mn, which is the most mobile element in soil. The transfer factor (TF) of elements showed the following trend: K > Na > P > S > Mo > Hg > Se > Zn > Cd > Cu > Mg > Mn > Ca > Cr > Co ≈ Fe = Pb. There was high transfer of major elements from soil to plants, and lower values for micronutrients and heavy metals. The calculated daily intake (DIM) and health risk index (HRI) for ten plant species for adults were < 1, while the HRI was larger than 1 for Mn via radish consumption. According to geochemical investigations and statistical tests such as principal component analysis, Kruskal–Wallis, and correlation coefficient calculations, plant species play the most important role in elemental uptake by plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Agricultural soil
  • Health risk assessment
  • Heavy metals
  • Nutrients
  • Pollution
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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