John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Accumulation of contaminants of emerging concern in food crops, part two: Plant distribution

Arid agricultural regions often turn to using treated wastewater (reclaimed water) for irrigation of food crops. Concerns arise, however, when considering the potential for persistent contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) to accumulate into plants intended for human consumption. This work examined the accumulation of a suite of nine CECs into two representative food crops, lettuce and strawberry, following uptake via the roots and subsequent distribution to other plant tissues. Calculation of accumulation metrics (concentration factors) allowed for comparison of the compartmental affinity of each chemical for each plant tissue compartment. The root concentration factor (RCF) was found to exhibit a positive linear correlation with Dow for the target CECs. Coupled with the concentration‚Äźdependent accumulation observed in the roots, this result implies that accumulation of these CECs into plant roots is driven by passive partitioning. Of the CECs examined, nonionizable CECs such as triclocarban, carbamazepine, and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) displayed the greatest potential for translocation from the roots to above ground plant compartments. In particular, the OPFRs displayed increasing affinity for shoots and fruits with decreasing size/Kow. Cationic diphenhydramine and anionic sulfamethoxazole, once transported to the shoots of the strawberry plant, demonstrated the greatest potential of the CECs examined to be then carried to the edible fruit portion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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