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Title: Heavy Metal Contamination of Urban Community Gardens in Singapore
Keywords: urban, garden, pollution, Singapore, heavy metals, exposure
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: GOH TIONG ANN (2018). Heavy Metal Contamination of Urban Community Gardens in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Heavy metals from atmospheric deposition of vehicular and industrial emissions and fertilizer application contribute significantly to garden soil pollution in urbanised environments, exposing garden volunteers to potentially hazardous pollution. This study thus investigated heavy metal enrichment in urban gardens located in Singapore. Using intercoupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), the concentrations of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) in garden soils was determined. Median Cu and Zn levels in Garden samples (43.5 mg/kg; 119.1 mg/kg) were about twice as high as in samples obtained from Open fields (24.3 mg/kg; 60.9 mg/kg) and Forest soils (18.6 mg/kg; 48.3 mg/kg). High concentrations of Pb and Cd were found in Garden samples, but within a limited geographical extent. Lead isotope analysis showed that incinerator ash, industrial emissions, previous use of leaded petrol and construction excavations contribute to lead pollution in Gardens. Analysis of Garden soil properties (soil pH, Total Organic Content, clay, silt and sand fraction) indicated that the formation of insoluble organic complexes and inorganic compunds in Garden soils immobilises heavy metals. Estimated heavy metal intake for Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd are 0.50 – 4.12 ?g/day, 3.54 – 11.3 ?g/day, 1.32-3.81 ?g/day and 0.11-0.30 ?g/day. They are below recommended daily intake limits, suggesting that volunteers are not exposed to dangerous levels of heavy metals from soil inhalation and ingestion. Further research into other routes of heavy metal intake from consumption of garden produce and interactions between soil properties may be undertaken.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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