Effects of heavy metals in soil and plants on ecosystems and the economy

Document Type : Research Paper


MIREA - Russian Technological University (RTU MIREA), 78 Vernadsky Avenue, Moscow, 119454, Russia


Organisms need very small amounts of heavy metals to continue to grow and survive, so-called trace elements. Heavy metals are the main pollutants found in industrial effluents. Changes in ecosystems due to the increasing number of industrial activities and consequently the extraction, treatment and application of heavy elements have caused the density of these elements in the structural factors of ecosystems (especially water and soil resources) to exceed the self-purification capacity of the environment. On the other hand, the rapid population growth and more production of materials along with increasing demand for agricultural products, as well as the application of compost fertilizers and sewage sludge due to their richness of some elements, have been considered the other reasons for the heavy metal pollutions. Because these elements have very dangerous consequences for life, including humans, so it is necessary to pay attention to their pollutions. Heavy metals are dangerous environmental pollutants that pose a danger to humans, plants and other living organisms by entering the food chain. In soils contaminated with heavy metals, the use of plants that have the ability to grow, adapt and absorb metals is considered as one of the methods of cleaning these soils. In this study, phytoremediation is presented as one of the bioremediation methods for soils contaminated with organic and inorganic compounds. The results show that in order to reduce soil contamination and subsequent food and human poisoning, it is better to identify the factors causing heavy element elevations in the environment of each area, and consequently selecting plants that are not consumed as food before planting crops.


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