Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 80, No 1 (2015)

Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals in the Vicinity of the Smelter for Lead and Zinc in Veles


Pages: 53-57


Soil quality is one of the most important factors in sustaining the global biosphere, but it is subject of a series degradation processes or threats. Contamination of the soils with heavy metals is one of them.
The region around Veles is one of the typical examples of soil pollution and other environmental media by toxic metals, such as: lead, cadmium, zinc and others, as a result of emission of those elements from the lead and zinc smelters located in Veles. The accumulation of heavy metals in the food chain, especially of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) from soil through the consumption of vegetables, may affect the human and environmental health. To find adequate measures to prevent present ecological problems, we have to use appropriate and successful actions. Phytoremediation is a relatively new emerging green technology that uses plants to extract heavy metals from contaminated soils. This paper presents a research in which four test plants (oilseed rape – Brassica napus Oleifera D.C., white clover - Trifolium repens L., alfalfa - Medicago sativa L., and corn – Zea mays L.) were cultivated in industrially polluted soils in order to find a suitable plant species that could be used for soil remediation in industrial regions. The comparison between the examined crops during the three-year research period in relation to the heavy metal bioaccumulation coefficient indicated that for phytoremediation of soils with high Pb concentration the alfalfa can be recommended, for soils with high Cd concentration oilseed rape and white clover are preferable, and on soils with high Zn concentration alfalfa and white clover are superior.


phytoremediation, heavy metals, soil

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