Title: Accumulation of heavy metals in tea leaves and soils: a case of Sri Lankan tea plantation

Authors: I.D.U.H. Piyathilake; E.P.N. Udayakumara

Addresses: Faculty of Graduate Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, P.O. Box 02, Belihuloya 70140, Sri Lanka ' Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, P.O. Box 02, Belihuloya 70140, Sri Lanka

Abstract: The application of herbicides is one of the most convenient weed management techniques available in Sri Lankan tea plantations. Thus the prime aim of this study was to determine the effects of herbicides on fresh tea leaves, processed (black) tea leaves, and tea soils. The microwave digestion system and atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS) were mainly used to determine the levels of metal contaminations of fresh tea leaves/black tea and tea soils. The results revealed that Zn, Fe and Pb levels of soils of herbicides applied tea plantation are significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the soils of herbicides free plots. Further, the results showed that Pb levels of green leaves and black tea are slightly higher (p < 0.05) in herbicide-treated plots. Overall, the present study gives insights into the heavy metal contamination levels in soils, green leaves, and black tea under chemical weed management systems in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: atomic absorption spectrometer; AAS; black tea; fresh tea; heavy metals; herbicides; microwave digestion; soil.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAITG.2021.122858

International Journal of Agriculture Innovation, Technology and Globalisation, 2021 Vol.2 No.4, pp.341 - 350

Received: 28 May 2021
Accepted: 02 Dec 2021

Published online: 13 May 2022 *

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