Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8696–8708 | Cite as

Occurrence, speciation, and risks of trace metals in soils of greenhouse vegetable production from the vicinity of industrial areas in the Yangtze River Delta, China

  • Lanqin YangEmail author
  • Guoming Liu
  • Lin Di
  • Xiangyang Wu
  • Wenhua You
  • Biao HuangEmail author
Research Article


The effect of industrial activities on trace metals in farmland of rapidly industrializing regions in developing countries has increasingly been a concern to the public. Here, soils were collected from 13 greenhouse vegetable production (GVP) farms or bases near industrial areas in the Yangtze River Delta of China to investigate the occurrence, speciation, and risks of Cr, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, and Pb in GVP soil. The results revealed that the main metal elements causing GVP soil pollution were Cd, Zn, Ni, and Cu, of which contamination levels were generally unpolluted to moderately polluted. Zinc pollution was mainly attributed to heavy fertilization, while Cd, Ni, and Cu pollution may be greatly ascribed to industrial effluents and coal combustion. Metal speciation studies showed that most of Cr, Ni, Cu, and Zn was present in residual fraction while more than half of Cd and Pb was present in non-residual fractions. Additionally, pollution of Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn in GVP soil increased their corresponding mobile fractions. Risk assessment using potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code showed that Cd was the major risk contributor. Specifically, Cd generally posed moderate or considerable ecological risk as well as displayed medium or high mobility risk in GVP soil. Thus, great attention should be paid to the contribution of both industrial discharges and intensive farming to soil pollution by trace metals, especially Cd, because of its high mobility risk.


Trace metals Greenhouse vegetable production soil Industrial areas BCR procedure Risk assessment 



The authors are grateful for the financial support from the Zhenjiang Science & Technology Program (No. SH2017045), the Natural Science Foundation of the Higher Education Institutions of the Jiangsu Province, China (No. 17KJB210003), the start-up grant from the Jiangsu University (No. 15JDG029), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41473073 and No. 31770394).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4313_MOESM1_ESM.doc (119 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 119 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Environment and Safety EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Zhenjiang Station of Farmland Quality ProtectionZhenjiangPeople’s Republic of China

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