Evaluating Heavy Metals Contamination in Soil, Water and Vegetables in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Abstract

Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences (JEAS). Ghanem et al., 2023. 25(3&4):1-10.

Open Access – Research Article

Evaluating Heavy Metals Contamination in Soil, Water and Vegetables Cultivated in Three Areas of Ad-Dawadmi Governorate,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kholoud Z. Ghanem 1, Mohammed E. S. Abdalla 2 and Ietidal E. Mohamed 1,3*

1University of Shaqra, College of Science and Humanities/ Ad Dawadmi, Department of Biology, Ad-Dawadmi 11911, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2University of Khartoum, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology, Khartoum 11115, Sudan
3University of Khartoum, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany, Khartoum 11115, Sudan


Abstract: Irrigation of croplands with untreated wastewater and industrial waste has caused contamination of soils and bioaccumulation of toxic metals in edible parts plants, threatening human health. The concentrations of seven different heavy metals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Ni, Cd, Pb, and Hg) were investigated in the soil, water and the root, fruits and leaf of carrot (Daucus carota), cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and parsley (Petroselinum crispum), collected from three regions; Arjaa, Sajir and Ad-Dawadmi, in Ad-Dawadmi Governorate, Western Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The heavy metal contents of the samples were determined after digestion of samples using nitric acid, using Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The plant translocation factors (TF) were calculated throughout this study. The results revealed that the concentrations of Cu, Fe, Zn and Ni in all vegetable samples from the three regions were found under the maximum permissible concentration of WHO and FAO Maximum Levels, 73, 425, 99 and 67 [(µg/g) mg/kg], respectively. Concentrations of Cd and Pb in the edible vegetable samples harvested from the Arjaa and Sajir regions are higher than their permissible limits by WHO, 0.36, 0.21; 1.29, and 1.68 with respect to 0.2, 0.3, respectively. Moreover, Hg was not detected in all investigated samples of vegetables, soil and water. Water samples collected from Sajir and Ad-Dawadmi and the soil samples collected from Sajir exceed the standard level of Zn (180, 157 and 103 µg/g respectively). The concentrations of Cd and Pb in the soil and water from the three regions exceed their respective permissible limits. Increased bioaccumulation of certain heavy metals can be a risk factor for consumers in the studied areas. Detailed studies are required to further assess threats of heavy metal contamination in the region.

Keywords: Ad-Dawadmi, Environmental pollution, Heavy metals contamination, soil contamination, toxic metals, vegetable contamination, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
*Corresponding author: 
Ietidal E. Mohamed, ietidalm@su.edu.sa, ietidalem11@gmail.com  

Cite this article as:

Ghanem, K.Z., M.E.s. Abdalla and I.E. Mohamed. 2023. Evaluating heavy metals contamination in soil, water and vegetables cultivated in three areas of Ad Dawadmi Governorate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 25 (3&4): 1-10 [Abstract] [View FullText] [Citations].


Copyright © Ghanem et al., 2023  This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original author and source are appropriately cited and credited.


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List of Abbreviations: Cd: Cadmium; Cu: Copper; FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization; Fe Ferrous; Hg: HNO3 Conc.: Concentrated Nitric acid; H2O2: Hydrogen peroxide; Mercury; ICP-MS: Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry; mg/kg-: milligram per kilogram: mL: milliliter; µg/g: microgram per gram; Ni: Nickel; Pb: Lead; TF: Translocation Factor; WHO: World health organization; Zn: Zinc.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that they have no competing interests and there is no conflict of interest exists.

Author’s Contribution: I. E. M. designed the study. I. E. M. and K. Z. G.  collected the samples and conducted the experiments. while I. E. M and M. S. A.  wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Acknowledgment: The authors gratefully acknowledge the Deanship, College of Science and Humanities, Ad-Dawadmi, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the laboratory facilities and materials for experimentation and chemical analysis. No funds were received for this project.


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2 Replies to “Evaluating Heavy Metals Contamination in Soil, Water and Vegetables in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Abstract

  1. What are the broader implications for this study for food safety and environmental health?

  2. What are the ethical considerations related to heavy metal contamination and its consequences?

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