Phytoremediation of Lead: A Review

  • Bhagawatilal Jagetiya
  • Sandeep Kumar
Part of the Radionuclides and Heavy Metals in the Environment book series (RHME)


Environmental pollution is the most important problem faced by modern civilization among all other concerns. Metals are normal components of the crust of Earth. Due to erosion of rocks, volcanic activity and many more natural and anthropogenic activities metals and other contaminants are discharged and found in almost all environmental compartments and strata. Among these heavy metals, lead is the most considerable toxic pollutant which is coming from diverse sources into the surrounding environment and consequently goes into the various components of the food chain. Industrialisation, urbanization, technological spreading out, increased use of fossil fuel, chemical fertilizer and pesticide use, mining and smelting and inappropriate waste management practices stay put the foremost reasons of extremely high levels of toxic quantities of lead in the environment. Mined ores or recycled scrap metal and batteries are the sources that fulfil the industrial lead requirement. Lead mining-smelting, industrial processes, batteries, colour-paints, E-wastes, thermal power plants, ceramics, and bangle manufacturing are the important point sources of lead. Huge quantities of lead in the air are from combustion of leaded fuel. The key reason for prolonged persistence of lead in the environment is the non-biodegradable character of this metal. This has led to manifold increased levels of lead in the environment and biological systems. Lead has no known biological requirement and is highly toxic even at low concentrations. Lead is looked upon as a strong occupational toxin and its toxicological manifestations are very well documented. Lead toxicity and poisoning has been recognized as a major community health threat all around in developing countries. Lead moves into the ecosystem and creates toxic effects on the microorganism as well as on all living organisms including plants. Conventional or traditional techniques of heavy metal quenching and putting out of contaminants from the contaminated sites have jeopardy to leave go of looming heavy metals in the environment and these are costlier as well as unsafe additionally. Use of microbes and green plants for clean-up purposes is therefore, a promising solution for onslaught of heavy metal polluted sites in view of the fact that they include sustainable ways of repairing and re-establishing the natural status of soil and environment. The future outlook of phytoremediation depends on ongoing research and development. The science of phytoremediation has to go through numerous technical obstacles and developmental stages and better outcomes can be achieved by learning and knowing more and more about the variety of biological processes participating in phytoremediation programmes. For successful future of phytoremediation a number of attempts yet to be require with multidisciplinary approach. This review comprehensively presents the background, concepts, technical details, types, strategies, merits and demerits, and upcoming path for the phytoremediation of lead pollution.


Heavy metals Lead pollution Ecotoxicology Bioremediation Phytoremediation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhagawatilal Jagetiya
    • 1
  • Sandeep Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Phytotechnology Research Laboratory, Department of BotanyM.L.V. Government CollegeBhilwaraIndia

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