Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 3585–3596 | Cite as

Cadmium uptake in radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and surficial contamination: implications for food safety and local soil management

  • Genyan Xu
  • Sha Zhang
  • Jing SongEmail author
  • Roger Brewer
  • Hui Gao
Soils, Sec 5 • Soil and Landscape Ecology • Research Article



Soil management strategies for agricultural lands contaminated with potentially toxic trace elements, especially cadmium (Cd), are still inadequate and require a precise identification of soils that are not s afe for growing crops. Key soil variables need to be identified to connect soil safety with food safety by reliable models.

Materials and methods

Soil variables that affect concentrations of metals in different portions of radish, Raphanus sativus L., were examined as part of a greenhouse experiment. 0.01 M di-sodium-di-hydroxy-ethylenediamine-tretra-acetic acid (Na2H2EDTA) solution was used in a strong rinsing experiment. Cd soil-radish relationships were derived by different modeling approaches and were used to develop local risk screening values for Cd in soil.

Results and discussion

The current lab washing procedures readily remove surface Cd adherence but are not adequate to remove surface-deposited lead (Pb), thus overestimating bioaccumulation in plants by mean 111%. Shoot and root tissue Cd concentration in fresh weight basis do not present a significant difference and can be precisely predicted by regression models using different Cd pools and soil pH. Preferably a polynomial surface model can be used in developing local rick screening values that yield concentrations of Cd in radish at or below the Chinese food quality standard of 0.1 mg kg−1 (fresh weight).


The bioaccumulation of Cd in radish depends on the Cd bioavailability in soil. But for Pb, surficial particle contamination masks the realistic bioaccumulation. We also demonstrated the usefulness of the polynomial surface model to develop local soil protection guidelines that are helpful to local farmers for proper soil management and avoidance of Cd exceedance in food.


Cd Bioavailability pH Potentially toxic metals Soil criteria Soil extraction tests 


Funding information

This work was funded by the STS Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (no. KFJ-STS-ZDTP-005) and the National Environmental Protection Public Welfare Industry Targeted Research Fund (201409042).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11368_2019_2290_MOESM1_ESM.docx (296 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 296 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution RemediationInstitute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Plant and Soil SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Hawaii Department of HealthHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.Department of Soil QualityWageningen UniversityWageningenNetherlands

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