Monitoring of copper accumulation in water, soil, forage, and cows impacted by heavy automobiles in Sargodha, Pakistan

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Abstract

The instant endeavor was undertaken to monitor copper (Cu) contents in water, soil, forage, and cow’s blood impacted by heavy automobiles in Sahiwal town of district Sargodha, Pakistan. The samples were collected in triplicates with a total of 120 soil and water samples with corresponding forage samples. For the analysis of metal concentration in cows, 60 blood samples were collected from the cows feeding on these forages on selected sites. Metal contents were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results showed that water samples contained mean values of Cu concentration ranged from 1.01 to 0.444 mg/kg at all sites. It was maximum at site 3 and minimum at site 6. The soil samples of all the forage fields showed Cu mean values concentration ranged from 1.94 to 0.286 mg/kg at all sites. It was maximum in Trifolium alexandrinum grown field at site 2, and minimum in Avena sativa at site 2. All the forage samples showed the mean value of Cu concentration ranged from 0.151 to 1.86 mg/kg at all sites. The concentration of Cu was maximum in Zea mays grown at site 5 and minimum in Trifolium alexandrinum at site 4. The cow blood samples showed the mean concentration of Cu ranged from 1.368 to 0.53 mg/kg at all sites. It was maximum at site 2 and minimum at site 6. Owing to the results of pollution index and transfer factors, metal content was found to be in permissible range in forages as well as animal samples.

Introduction

Transport sector has created many life luxuries all over the world with creation of jobs. However, unfortunately it has also brought few problems with it. One of the hazardous effects associated with the heavy traffic is the contamination of animal forages with emission of pollutants from automobiles. Different studies have proven the accumulation of heavy metals, including copper (Cu), in the blood and meat samples of cattle grazing on these contaminated forages. Anthropogenic activities have accelerated the accumulation of heavy metals in the environment (Saleem et al. 2020). Like other metals, copper enters in cattle and animals with consumption of water and forage. More are heavy automobiles on the roads or highways more is the toxic smoke containing pollutants are released into the atmosphere. One of these pollutants is Cu which is found useful in few cases is also causing contamination of the environment (Khan et al. 2019a, b, 2021; Chen et al. 2021; Ugulu et al. 2021a, b). Earlier studies have shown that the contents of different metals including Cu, Pb, Zn, Fe, Mn, and Cd in soils and grass grown on roadside were on higher levels in samples of soil and grass collected from thirty-six sites on the Hong Kong Island. By analyzing linear regression among the logarithmic concentration of the metals under the study and the logarithmic traffic flowing volume at those sites expressed that the metal content of soil and grass was found significantly related (variance ratios’ P values <0·001), hence confirming that the auto vehicles were main source of the heavy metals near the highway. In roadside samples of soil and grass area, wise presence of Pb and Cu was on higher sides, due to contamination mainly occurring in the thickly populated and urbanized part of city with high number of the traffic vehicles transported. Seemingly, soil and grass samples, both could be indicators to depict the deposition extent of metals aerially on roadside (Ho and Tai 1988). Soil contamination with heavy metals is becoming a worldwide threat due to its adverse impacts on environmental safety (Rehman et al. 2019). Pollution in the surroundings ought to be indebted to a variety of elements in which anthropogenic activities play a significant role (Ugulu et al. 2009; Ugulu 2015a). Some of the contributing factors include burning of fossil fuels, expanded industrialization leading to more production of poisonous wastes, urbanization, improved use of cars which emit toxic smoke, and extensive mining strategies. Most important thing to concern about is the persistent nature of toxic chemical compounds emitting from above cited sources. When the contaminated forages are consumed by animals, they get affected badly by it as by the contaminated forage heavy metals got entered in the cattle body and with the passage of time these metals get accumulated in their bodies (Wagh et al. 2006; Ugulu et al. 2019a, b; Khan et al. 2020a, b). Animals feeding on pastures situated near industrial units, mining communities, and road sides get more exposed to heavy metals (Ahmad et al. 2019; Ugulu et al. 2020; Khan et al. 2020c, d; Wajid et al. 2020).

The current endeavor was designed to find out copper concentration in water, soil, cow forage, and cow’s blood serum, domesticated near automobile transportation and to correlate its results with biochemical and hematological parameters in Sahiwal District Sargodha, Pakistan, with objective to evaluate addition and transfer of copper in water, soil, forage, and animals’ blood.

Materials and methods

The study area selected was Sahiwal, district Sargodha, Pakistan. This is an agricultural area where most important crops are grown (Khan et al. 2018a, b). The forages chosen for investigation were Zea mays, Avena sativa, Trifolium alexandrinum, and Brassica campestris. Samples of water, soil, forage, and cow’s blood were collected.

Collection of samples

Water samples

All of the samples of water measuring 100 ml were collected by following the method given by AFNOR (1997).

Forage samples

A total of one hundred twenty samples consisting of 4 forages including Maize, Oat, Berseem, and Brassica from winter season were collected. The sampling procedure was executed as 4 replications of all forages from each sampling site. Samples of forages were collected from the roadsides of Dera Jara, Radhan, Majoka, Sial Sharif, and Nehang. The samples from the distant avenue were amassed from Vijh. All of the forage samples were air dried followed by 7 days of oven drying at 70 to 75 °C. An amount of 2 g from these samples was taken with the objective to find copper availability in the soil and forage samples (Khan et al. 2018c, d).

Soil samples

Soil samples were amassed as two hundred and forty replicates of soil from six working sites along with 120 samples from winter season. Each of the 1 kg sample of soil was gathered in polythene bags by digging soil up to 15–30 cm deep with the help of shovel. Followed by way of series of samples, about 10 g of each sample was once air dried. After air drying, samples were followed oven dried for about 70–75 °C. From the oven, the soil samples were eliminated and after 7 days and till then all the moisture contents from the soil samples have been removed. Then, these samples have been beaten using pestle mortar and about 2 g of every sample used to be saved for the additional technique after sieving of all samples. Total contents of Cu in soil samples were studied after the digestion of samples. Approximately, 2.5 ml nitric acid, 0.5 ml hydrogen peroxide (30%), and 7.5 ml of hydrochloric acid were applied (Khan et al. 2019c, d).

Blood samples

A total of 60 cow’s blood samples were collected, consisting of 12 from Radhan, 12 from Nehang, 12 from Dera Jara, 12 from Majoka, and 12 from Sial Sharif facet. Samples had been gathered in 16 × 150 mm sealed test tubes. Blood samples of cow have been collected from the major veins of cow in standing condition by using sanitized needle. After collection, blood was positioned in heparinized Na-citrate viols quickly for halting clotting. Blood serum was separated from plasma by using a centrifuge running at 3000 rpm up to 15–30 min. The blood serum was placed in labeled small viols and stowed in freezer at − 20 °C.

All samples of blood serum were organized by wet digestion according to Richards (1968). Momentarily, 0.5 ml of blood sample was used for digestion in 10 ml nitric acid in digestion flask of 100 ml volume, initiating at less temperature for 15 to 20 min until the contents cleared, followed with 5 ml perchloric acid for 15 min. Resultants in the flask were heated strongly until 2 to 3 ml colorless mixture was obtained. After the flask cooling down, the mixture was diluted to make it 20 ml by adding redistilled water in the volumetric flask and finally conserved for further tests (Khan et al. 2019e).

Apparatus and chemicals and Instrument

Measuring cylinder of 10 ml, salts, pipette of 10 ml, volumetric flask of 100 and 1000 ml, and beakers of 500 ml were used to carry out the experiments. The chemical substances used during the study were of MERCK Company. The determination of copper concentrations in the samples was done via Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer AA 6300 Shimadzu of Japan.

Statistical analysis

Analysis of variance and correlations were observed by SPSS (Special Program for Social Sciences) software program model No. 20. Variance for copper in soil, forage, and water was found through making use of two-way ANOVA. Correlations with Cu concentrations of forage and soil were accounted with mean value at 0.05, 0.001, and 0.01 (Ugulu 2015b, c, 2020; Yorek et al. 2016).

Results

Analysis of variance of data revealed that there was a non-significant influence of all sites on the concentrations of Cu in samples of water, soils, forages Zea mays, Trifolium alexandrinum, and Brassica campestris, and cow’s blood (Table 1). Water samples recorded that concentrations of Cu in all sites were ranged from 1.01 to 0.444 mg/kg. Cu level was maximum at site 3 and minimum at site 6 (Fig. 1). Soil samples of all the forages showed that concentrations of Cu at different sites ranged from 1.94 to 0.286 mg/kg. It was maximum in soil where Trifolium alexandrinum was grown at site 2, and was minimum in soil where Avena sativa was cultivated at site 2 (Table 1 and Fig. 2). Among all the cultivated forage samples, it was found that concentrations of Cu at all sites were ranged from 0.151 to 1.86 mg/kg. It was maximum in forage Zea mays grown at site 5 and was minimum in forage Trifolium alexandrinum at site 4 (Fig. 3). Finally, cow’s blood samples showed that concentrations of Cu at all sites ranged from 1.368 to 0.53 mg/kg. It was found maximum at site 2, and minimum at site 6 (Fig. 4).

Table 1 Analysis of variance for copper in samples of water, soil, forages, and blood at all six sites of sampling
Fig. 1
figure1

Copper concentration in water at all six sites of sampling

Fig. 2
figure2

Copper concentration in soil at all six sites of sampling

Fig. 3
figure3

Copper concentration in forages at all six sites of sampling

Fig. 4
figure4

Copper concentration in cow blood at all six sites of sampling

Pollution load index

PLI for Cu at six sites of irrigation in all forages ranged from 0.03 to 8.84. It was maximum for Brassica campestris at site 2, while lowest for Avena sativa at site 2. The order of pollution load index (PLI) at site 1 in all the given forages was Zea mays<Trifolium alexandrinum<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris. The order of PLI at site 2 was Avena sativa<Zea mays<Trifolium alexandrinum<Brassica campestris. For site 3, order of PLI was Zea mays<Avena sativa<Trifolium alexandrinum<Brassica campestris. For site 4, the order of PLI was Avena sativa<Trifolium alexandrinum<Zea mays<Brassica campestris. The order of PLI at site 5 was Zea mays<Trifolium alexandrinum<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris. The order of PLI at site 6 was Avena sativa<Zea mays<Brassica campestris<Trifolium alexandrinum (Table 2).

Table 2 Pollution load index (PLI) for copper at all six sites

Bio concentration factor

Bio concentration factor (BCF) for Cu at six sites of irrigation in all forages ranged from 0.16 to 8.97. It was maximum for Brassica campestris at site 6 of irrigation, while it was lowest for Trifolium alexandrinum at site 4. The order of BCF at site 1 for all the given forages was in the order: Zea mays<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris<Trifolium alexandrinum. The order of BCF at site 2 for all the given forages was in the order: Trifolium alexandrinum<Zea mays<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris. The order of BCF at site 3 for all the given forages was in the order: Trifolium alexandrinum<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris<Zea mays. The order of BCF at site 4 for all the given forages was in the order: Trifolium alexandrinum<Zea mays<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris. The order of BCF at site 5 for all the given forages was in the order: Avena sativa<Trifolium alexandrinum<Zea mays<Brassica campestris. The order of BCF at site 6 for all the given forages was in the order: Trifolium alexandrinum<Zea mays<Avena sativa<Brassica campestris (Table 3).

Table 3 Concentration of bio concentration factor (BCF) for copper in soils of different forages at six sites

Daily intake of metals and health risk index

Daily intake of metals (DIM) was highest for Zea maize at sites 3 and 5, for Avena sativa at sites 5 and 4, for Trifolium alexandrinum at sites 1 and 5, and for Brassica campestris at sites 3, 5, and 6 of irrigation, while it was lowest for Zea mays at sites 1, 2, 4, and 6, for Avena sativa at sites 1, 2, 3, and 6, for Trifolium alexandrinum at sites 2, 3, and 6, and for Brassica campestris at sites 1, 2, 6, and 4.

Health risk index (HRI) was highest for Zea mays at site 1, Trifolium alexandrinum at site 4, and Brassica campestris at site 1, while it was lowest for Brassica campestris at site 3. The order of HRIfor Zea mays at different sites was 1<site2<site4<site6<site3<site5. For Avena sativa, DIM at different sites was in the order 4<site1<site2<site3<site5<site6. For Trifolium alexandrinum at different sites, the order was 4<site3<site2<site6<site5<site1. For Brassica campestris, order of DIM at different sites was 1<site2<site4<site5v6<site3 (Table 4).

Table 4 Concentration of daily intake of metals and health risk index for copper in soils of different forages at six sites

Discussion

Many scientists have studied Cu in soil, water, and forage samples with few exceptions in cows’ blood plasma like Dobrzanski et al. (1994) and Skalicka et al. (2005). Cu was found in higher levels near road side samples of soil and forage (Ho and Tai, 1988). Rasheed et al. (2020) found mean value of Cu in samples of soil in different seasons that were ranging between 3.54 and 4.08 mg kg−1; these ranges for forages were 6.75 to 7.06 mg kg−1 and higher concentration of copper was found in plasma of fledgling buffaloes during summer season. Their findings are in conformity of the current conclusions. Kodrik et al. (2011) studied the impact of heavy metals on cow milk and cheese and the metals included were arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, ferrous, manganese, vanadium, nickle, lead, and zinc. They noticed that Cr, Cu, Fe, V, Mn, Cd, As, and Pb concentrations were found maximum in the milk collected from areas of concentrated automobile traffic than the milk originated from unpolluted green regions, while Cu, Cr, Fe, and Pb levels were significantly found higher in cheese samples collected from the highway side as compared to those in non-polluted green area cheese samples. Metal toxicity is not only the problem of under-developed nations, but the developed areas of the world also cry on the damages caused by these toxicants. In addition, increasing of Cu in the environment was supported by Nazir et al. (2015) and their study pointed effects of human activities including traffic on environment. No adverse effect of Cu was noticed in the present study too. Dobrzanski et al. (1994) evaluated the pollution effect of copper industry in blood serum of dairy cows from thirty farms spread in Poland. Cows’ blood serum from different farms in the vicinity of Cu mining locality of Legnica-Glogow had double the level of copper, lead, and cadmium than the samples from another area, 80 km away. Findings of Zhang et al. (2013), who concluded that due to vehicular emissions, soil porosity and plant roots hold most of the heavy metals, were supportive to the instant findings. The current study found less copper in blood as compared to that reported by Nwude et al. (2010) who studied Cu contents of cattle blood at Awka abattoir slaughter house in Nigeria. Apparently, lower concentrations of Cu in present studies might be due to thinner volume of automobile exhaust or less intensity of heavy traffic in Sahiwal town of Sargodha. The results found in the current study showed some pollution load index for Cu due to exhaust gases and smoke in heavy area of traffic. Similarly, bio concentration factor found for Cu in the present study was a result of traffic intensity. However, further studies are needed for unfolding factors behind PLI and BCF, caused by flow of heavy traffic in local environment.

Conclusion

The evaluation of Cu in forages, their soil, irrigating water, and blood of cow consuming these forages depicted the occurrence of this heavy metal within tolerable range in the samples which were obtained from the sites away from the road. The samples collected from the vicinity of road were loaded with the heavy metal clearly indicating the influence of automobiles on the metal concentration. The movement of metal from irrigation water through soil to plants and then ruminants is evident from the bioconcentration factor. Treatment of water before irrigation and use of phytoremediation techniques for the elimination of metals from the soil could be useful to avoid metal toxicity in the cows residing in the areas near roads with heavy traffic.

Change history

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Availability of data and materials

Data and material is available for research purpose and for reference.

Funding

The authors extend their appreciation to the researchers supporting project number (RSP-2020/193) King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Contributions

Zafar Iqbal Khan and Kafeel Ahmad conceived and designed the study and Jawaher Alkahtani and Mohamed Soliman Elshikh critically revised the manuscript and approved the final version. Zunaira Munir executed the experiment and compiled the data. Muhammad Nadeem statistically analyzed the data and helped in chemical analysis. Tasneem Ahmad interpreted the results. Sonaina Nazar wrote the manuscript. Humayun Bashir and Asma Ashfaq critically edited and revised the manuscript. Mudasra Munir and Ifra Saleem Malik helped in sample collection and chemical analysis.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sonaina Nazar.

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Ethical approval

Ethical approval was taken from the Department Ethical Review Committee to conduct the study and no animal was harmed in this study.

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Ahmad, T., Nazar, S., Ahmad, K. et al. Monitoring of copper accumulation in water, soil, forage, and cows impacted by heavy automobiles in Sargodha, Pakistan. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12770-8

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Keywords

  • Copper (Cu)–contaminated forage
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Blood
  • Heavy automobile
  • Cow