Accumulation and distribution of heavy metals in coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum L.) under the influence of irrigation with treated municipal wastewater

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Water Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.


Iran, an arid and semi-arid region, is facing a decrease in renewable water resources, and the demand for water continues to increase. This has forced the decision makers to preserve high quality water resources for drinking purposes and less quality water resources (including reclaimed wastewaters) to be allocated for irrigation of agricultural lands. However, the accumulation of heavy metals in crops irrigated with reclaimed wastewater is still unclear. Therefore, the concentration of these metals in plants should be measured and monitored, regularly due to their risk of diseases. In this research, for the first time, the effects of irrigation with municipal reclaimed wastewater on the accumulation of heavy metals in the roots and aerial parts of coriander plant were investigated and compared to well water (control). Results showed that the concentrations of all investigated heavy metals in different parts of coriander plant irrigated with reclaimed wastewater was significantly higher than that in the control treatment. Fortunately, the concentrations of all these metals in all the plant tissues were lower than the permissible limits. The highest concentrations of copper and zinc (25 and 51 mg/kg, respectively) were observed in the aerial part of coriander. Therefore, in the current situation of the shortage of water resources in Kermanshah, reclaimed wastewater provides a unique and viable supply of water for the irrigation of large areas of coriander cultivation in such a way that it does not pose any threat to human health in terms of the accumulation of heavy metals in the plant.


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