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

Pakistan is an agricultural country, yet it is facing a serious threat due to the shortage of water resources and degradation of the agricultural land by the pollution of industrial effluents. A limited number of the current industries are equipped with proper operating treatment plants. Generally, the untreated effluents are disposed off to the open environment which is used for irrigation purposes. Therefore, vegetables and crops grown around the industrial areas is a major potential source of metal poisoning which pose a serious risk to the general public. Hence, study of the toxicity level in vegetables and crops is highly desirable. In this regard, systematic studies have been carried out to determine concentration levels of toxic elements in the samples of vegetables, crops, effluents and soil collected from the industrial areas of the Faisalabad. After processing, these samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometric techniques. The highest concentrations of toxic metals were observed for As (2.73 ± 0.34) in cabbage, Cd (1.5 ± 0.1), Ni (5.1 ± 0.9) and Pb (4.3 ± 0.2) in corn, Co (0.65 ± 0.02), and Sb (0.09 ± 0.01) in carrot, Cr (9.63 ± 1.3), Mn (46.5 ± 4.2) and Se (1.03 ± 0.1) in millet, Cu (11.3 ± 1.1) in tomato vegetables and crop samples. Although, the observed toxicity levels in vegetables and crop samples were higher than those grown in non-industrial areas, yet these toxicity levels are within the safe recommended limits.