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Heavy metal uptake of corn irrigated with human urine

By: Horacio Factura, Cordulo Ascaňo, Dennis Apuan, Ralf Otterpohl

Key Words: Heavy metals in urine, Domestic wastewater, Pit latrines, Phytoremediation

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 11(6), 56-62, December 2017.

Certification: jbes 2017 0147 [Generate Certificate]


The ground, infiltration of liquid effluent into the soil can continuously occur. Poor sanitation systems permit the spread of heavy metals in urine to water bodies especially the groundwater. This study investigated the accumulation of heavy metals in shoots of corn plants irrigated with urine. A pot experiment with corn was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Urine was diluted to 3:1 ratio (water and urine respectively) and was compared to control (water only). Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), heavy metals such as Boron, Barium, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Silicon, Strontium and Zinc were detected in shoots of all plants with contents ranging from 0.22 to 2,487.44 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg). The higher amounts detected in urine irrigated plants than the control proved the presence of the metals in the urine. Reuse of urine will definitely benefit farmers while at the same time reduce the risk of heavy metal contamination in groundwater.

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Heavy metal uptake of corn irrigated with human urine

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Horacio Factura, Cordulo Ascaňo, Dennis Apuan, Ralf Otterpohl.
Heavy metal uptake of corn irrigated with human urine.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 11(6), 56-62, December 2017.
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