Humates and Chlorides Synergistically Increase Cd Phytoaccumulation in Strawberry Fruits, Heightening Health Risk from Cd in Human Diet

Gabrijel Ondrasek, Ivana Jelovica Badovinac, Robert Peter, Mladen Petravic, Jelena Macan, Zed Rengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Salt-affected and sandy pedospheres low in complex organic and mineral matrices critical for metal sorption (e.g. humics, aluminosilicates) could exacerbate metal transfer into the food chain. To test this hypothesis, a 3-factor study with salinity (0-50 mM NaCl), humates (HA; 0-150 mg/kg) and Cd contamination (0-9 mg/kg) was conducted in sandy substrate with strawberry. Cadmium phytoaccumulation decreased in the order roots > crowns > leaves > fruits. In comparison to the control, tissue Cd concentration was influenced by the NaCl x HA x Cd interaction, increasing Cd in leaves (up to 241-fold) and fruits (up to 135-fold) and exceeding the European maximum limit of 0.05 mg Cd/kg w wt. Surface analyses (XRD, SEM-EDX, FTIR, SIMS) revealed that the growth substrate rich in SiO2 (> 87% w/w) had uniform, nonporous and chemically unreactive surface structure. In contrast, the more complex HA matrix featuring abundant and heterogeneous micro-porosity and a large content of reactive radicals. Chemical speciation modelling of the rhizosphere solutions showed that almost all Cd was dissolved and distributed among the bioavailable Cd2+, Cl-complexed and HA-complexed pools, with small amounts of Cd adsorbed to K/Na-aluminosilicates. Slightly acidic pH (5.4-6.2) and complexation with Cl and HA in the rhizosphere favoured Cd solubility and its transfer to plants. The assessment of health risk of strawberry fruit consumption indicated a relatively higher the Estimated Daily Intake (EDI) in children (5% of provisional tolerable daily Cd intake) vs adults (< 1%), with the Dietary Risk Coefficient (DRC) < 0.1 in both populations, suggesting a low risk. However, given Cd intake from other sources and its cumulative effects, precautions are needed when consuming strawberries grown in salt-affected sandy soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-410
Number of pages18
JournalExposure and Health
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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