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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320260

Research Project: PLANT AND SOIL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE BIOAVAILABILITY OF HEAVY METALS IN CROPS

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Title: Accumulation of lead and arsenic by potato grown on lead-arsenate contaminated orchard soils

Author
item Codling, Eton
item Chaney, Rufus
item Green, Carrie

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2015
Publication Date: 2/22/2016
Citation: Codling, E.E., Chaney, R.L., Green, C.E. 2016. Accumulation of lead and arsenic by potato grown on lead-arsenate contaminated orchard soils. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 47:799-807. doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2016.1146754.

Interpretive Summary: Four potato cultivars were grown on lead-arsenate contaminated orchard soils with total lead and arsenic concentrations ranging from 350 to 961 and 43 to 290 mg kg-1, respectively. This research was conducted by USDA-ARS scientist at Beltsville Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. Lead concentration in peeled potato tubers and peel were below the instrument detection limit. Arsenic concentration in peeled tubers grown on the orchard soils ranged from 0.24 to 1.44 mg kg-1. Arsenic concentration was 61 percent higher in potato peel compared to the peeled tuber. It is recommended that if potatoes are grown on lead-arsenate soils they should be peeled before processing and consumption.

Technical Abstract: Concerns have been raised about the potential food chain transfer of metals in crops grown on historic orchard soils where lead arsenate pesticide was used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the uptake of lead and arsenic (As) by four potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars (Atlantic, Dark Red Norland, Russet Burbank and Yukon Gold) grown on lead arsenate contaminated orchard soils. Orchard soils from the following soil series were studied (Bagstown, Hudson, Burch and Cashmont), with Pb and As concentrations ranging from 350 to 961, 43 to 290, and 25 to 84 mg kg-1, respectively. A local Maryland soil with no history of lead arsenate use was used as a control. Harvested tubers were washed thoroughly before being peeled and freeze dried. Yields of potato grown on the lead arsenate soils were higher or equal to those of the control. Lead concentration in peeled potato tubers and peel were below the detection limit (<0.015 mg kg-1 dry weight). Arsenic concentration in peeled tubers grown on the orchard soils ranged from 0.24 to 1.44 mg kg-1 dry weight, and was similar for the four cultivars. On average, As concentration was 61 percent higher in the peel than in the peeled tuber. The higher As levels in the peel after thorough washing suggests that As was taken up into or accumulated by the potato peel tissue. It is recommended that if potatoes are grown on historic orchard soils they should be peeled before processing and consumption.