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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 628280, 9 pages
Research Article

Heavy Metal Residues in Soil and Accumulation in Maize at Long-Term Wastewater Irrigation Area in Tongliao, China

1School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
2Sino-Japan Friendship Centre for Environmental Protection, Beijing 100029, China
3College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
4School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Lanzhou Jiaotong University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China

Received 18 September 2014; Accepted 9 December 2014

Academic Editor: Jun Wu

Copyright © 2015 Yintao Lu et al. 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.


Soil and plant samples were collected from Tongliao, China, during the maize growth cycle between May and October 2010. Heavy metals, such as Cr, Pb, Ni, and Zn, were analyzed. The concentrations of Cr, Pb, Ni, and Zn in the wastewater-irrigated area were higher than those in the topsoil from the groundwater-irrigated area. The concentrations of metals in the maize increased as follows: Pb < Ni < Zn < Cr. In addition, Cr, Pb, and Ni mainly accumulated in the maize roots, and Zn mainly accumulated in the maize fruit. The results of translocation factors (TF) and bioconcentration factors (BCF) of maize for heavy metals revealed that maize is an excluder plant and a potential accumulator plant and can serve as an ideal slope remediation plant. In addition, the increasing heavy metal contents in soils that have been polluted by wastewater irrigation must result in the accumulation of Cr, Pb, Ni, and Zn in maize. Thus, the pollution level can be decreased by harvesting and disposing of and recovering the plant material.