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E-Journal of Chemistry
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 4, Pages 1174-1183

Accumulation of Lead and Cadmium in Soil and Vegetable Crops along Major Highways in Agra (India)

Shashank Sharma and F. M. Prasad

Department of Chemistry, School of Chemical Sciences, St. John's College, Agra-282002, India

Received 23 August 2009; Revised 10 January 2010; Accepted 5 March 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Environmental pollution of heavy metals from automobiles has attained much attention in the recent past. The present research was conducted to study Pb and Cd level concentrations in soil and vegetations along a major highway with high traffic density. Soil and vegetable samples along highway were collected from 10 sites in Agra district (India) and analyzed for two heavy metals (lead and cadmium) using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The soil physicochemical properties were also determined. The general decrease in concentrations of these metals with distance from the highway indicates their relation to traffic. Higher accumulations of metals have been observed on vegetation and soil samples near to the highway (0-5 m) than on vegetation and soil samples from sites a little farther away ( at 5-10 m & 10-15 m). This is attributed mainly to aerial deposition of the metal particulates from motor vehicles. The values of heavy metals were compared with results found by other investigators in various countries worldwide.