Title: Towards an understanding of the effect of road pollution on adjacent food crops: Zea mays as an example

Authors: Ioannis K. Kalavrouziotis, Joy Carter, Soterios P. Varnavas, Aradhana Mehra, Panagiotis A. Drakatos

Addresses: Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management in Agrninio, University of Ioannina, G. Seferi 2, 30100 Agrinion, Greece. ' University of Glamorgan Pontypridd, Wales CF37 1DL, UK. ' Department of Geology, Laboratory of Applied Geochemistry, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece. ' Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences, University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE 22 1GB, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Laboratory of Special Mechanical Engineering, 26500 Patras, Greece

Abstract: This work is a preliminary study to test the hypothesis that major roads can have an adverse effect on the heavy metal composition of soil and food crops. Surface and subsurface soil samples were collected at increasing distances from the major road in the Araxos area and they were analysed for organic C, Al, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, Fe, Mn, Cr, Co, P, Ca, Mg and Na by inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy. Levels of Ca, Al, Mg and Fe were significantly increased in the surface and subsurface soils in the vicinity of the roadside. This increase was due to dust released from lorries carrying building materials originating from limestone quarries existing in the area. The impact of traffic on adjacent soils was also evidenced by a sharp increase in Pb, Mn, Fe and Al concentrations in the leaves and roots of Zea mays L.

Keywords: road pollution; heavy metals; Zea mays; traffic pollution; soil contamination; food crops; environmental pollution; Greece.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2007.014830

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2007 Vol.30 No.3/4, pp.576 - 592

Published online: 10 Aug 2007 *

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