Publication: Environmental Pollution
Author(s): S.A. Mamun; G. Chanson; Muliadi; E. Benyas; M. Aktar; N. Lehto; R. McDowell; J. Cavanagh; L. Kellermann; L. Clucas; B. Robinson
Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential trace element that accumulates in agricultural soils through the application of Cd-rich phosphate fertiliser. Vegetables can accumulate Cd to concentrations that sometimes exceed food safety standards. We investigated the potential of low-cost soil amendments to reduce Cd uptake by spinach, lettuce and onion. Lignite and compost had the greatest ability to sorb Cd and were subsequently selected for pot trials. The addition of 2.5% (dry w/w) municipal compost reduced the Cd concentration in onions, spinach and lettuce by up to 60% in both soils. The addition of lignite gave variable results. This Cd immobilisation was offset by soil acidification caused by the lignite. The results indicate that municipal compost is a low-cost soil conditioner that is effective in reducing plant Cd uptake.