Abstract

In the present study, the effects of untreated wastewater and associated health risks were assessed in an abundantly consumed vegetable, Luffa cylindrica. In this direction, trace metal accumulations in L. cylindrica samples irrigated with three different water regimes (municipal wastewater, groundwater, and canal water) were determined. The metal levels were defined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with a graphite furnace and D2 corrector. Trace metal concentrations in L. cylindrica samples were in the range of 7.91–9.01, 3.78–4.22, 0.54–0.63, 39.18–43.27, 15.76–20.82, 29.04–42.49, 6.96–8.24, 5.85–7.72, 4.06–4.39 and 0.18–0.42 mg/kg for Mo, As, Se, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, Cd and Co, respectively. The health risk index values of As, Cd, Pb, Mo, Ni, Se and Co; and pollution load index values of As, Mo, Ni, Cu, Cd and Pb were high, indicating possible phytotoxicity. As had the highest value for the pollution load index suggesting high-risk levels. High levels of some metals could be an alarm call for consumers as the vegetable is irrigated with untreated wastewater.

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