Rooftop vegetables and urban contamination: Trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in crops from Helsinki rooftops

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe20180115174
Julkaisun nimi: Rooftop vegetables and urban contamination: Trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in crops from Helsinki rooftops
Tekijä: Gelman, Valeria
Muu tekijä: Helsingin yliopisto, Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta, Ympäristötieteiden laitos
Opinnäytteen taso: pro gradu -tutkielmat
Tiivistelmä: The increased rates of population growth and urbanization worldwide raises the question of food security and self-reliance in cities. In view of this situation, in recent years there has been a re-emergence of urban agriculture in its traditional form and in new variations, such as on urban rooftops. A number of rooftop urban farms exist in the world; however, very few studies have been done to establish the quality of crops they produce, specifically concerning the concentrations of contaminants. The main purpose of this study was to investigate levels of contamination in edible plants grown on urban rooftops. I determined concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and trace metals in the biomass of three types of horticultural crops grown in the city of Helsinki, Finland. Lettuce, radish and peas were planted on five rooftops in various areas of Helsinki and control samples were acquired from local food stores and markets. Both groups of crops were analyzed for concentrations of 11 trace elements using the Elan 6000 ICP-MS and 16 PAHs using Shimadzu GC-MS-QP2010 Ultra system with the AOC-20i /AOC-20s autosampler. Additionally, lettuce and pea samples from the roofs were analyzed washed and unwashed to establish levels of particulate contamination on the surface of plants that can be mechanically removed through washing. Results obtained suggest that concentrations of PAHs and trace metals in rooftop vegetables in Helsinki are very low and the differences in their concentrations compared to control (store) samples are insignificant. This demonstrates that the consumption of vegetables produced in uncontaminated soil on urban roofs in Helsinki is safe. All samples showed concentrations well below the safety limits for heavy metals and PAHs established in the European Union (EC, 2006). Finally, there was a difference in concentration of PAHs and trace metals between washed and unwashed samples, however most of the results did not show statistical significance.
URI: URN:NBN:fi-fe20180115174
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/136371
Päiväys: 2014
Avainsanat: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
trace elements
heavy metals
rooftop agriculture
urban agriculture
urban contamination
Oppiaine: Urban Ecology


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