Sewage sludge as a source of cadmium in soil-plant-animal systems

Environmental Health Perspectives
D E BakerR M Leach


The objective of this presentation is to relate the abundance and mobility of Cd in components of terrestrial ecosystems with implications for land utilization of sewage sludge. The uptake of Cd by crop plants is a function of the quantity of the element in the soil plus other soil factors affecting the Cd ion activity or electrochemical potential at the plant root surface. The natural abundance of Cd in soils has been reported as 0.5 mug/g which is higher than the background level of 0.2 mug/g found in soils studied in Pennsylvania. Experimental results indicate that the plant availability of Cd increases with each soil addition. While the plant availability of Cd is decreased by liming to increase soil pH, it has not been possible to add Cd salts or sewage sludge Cd without significantly increasing plant uptake. Field studies have shown that land application of sewage sludge can be expected to increase the Cd concentration of corn leaves from a range of 0.05-0.1 mug/g to 1-3 mug/g. Two years after the last application of sludge which added up to 10 ppm Cd to the surface soil, corn grain, sorghum grain, wheat grain, and potatoes showed a 10- to 15-fold increase in Cd over background levels. Studies were conducted with chicks, ...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Waste Disposal, Solid
Soil Pollutants
Drug or Chemical Tissue Distribution

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Congenital hyperinsulinism is caused by genetic mutations resulting in excess insulin secretion from beta cells of the pancreas. Here is the latest research.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Cell Atlas of the Human Eye

Constructing a cell atlas of the human eye will require transcriptomic and histologic analysis over the lifespan. This understanding will aid in the study of development and disease. Find the latest research pertaining to the Cell Atlas of the Human Eye here.

Femoral Neoplasms

Femoral Neoplasms are bone tumors that arise in the femur. Discover the latest research on femoral neoplasms here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.