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  • 1 Physics Division, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • 2 Director General, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • 3 Chemistry Division, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad, Pakistan
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Abstract  

Due to the inadequate water sources, usually sewerage water and industrial effluents are being use for irrigation of the agricultural land around the industrial areas in Pakistan wherein crops and vegetables are cultivated. As untreated effluents contain heavy elements, toxic metals and organic pollutants that may find its way through food chain to general public and may cause health hazards. It is, therefore, mandatory to assess the toxic metals in such crops and vegetables. In this regard, samples of corn, millet, cabbage, spinach and potato were collected within the vicinity of industrial areas of the Faisalabad and Gujranwala regions. The food samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The highest concentration values of Arsenic (1.9 ± 0.1 μg/g) and Cobalt (0.85 ± 0.01 μg/g) were found in cabbage whereas Manganese (91.6 ± 0.2 μg/g), Antimony (0.15 ± 0.03 μg/g) and Selenium (1.1 ± 0.1 μg/g) were observed in spinach and Chromium (9.63 ± 1.3 μg/g) was found in millet crop. The observed concentrations of all the toxic and heavy metals in crops and vegetables are higher than those reported in the literature.