Transfer Factor of Heavy Metals from Agricultural Soil to Agricultural Products

농작물 재배지 토양 내 비소, 납 및 카드뮴의 농산물로의 전이계수 산출

  • Kim, Ji-Young (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Ji-Ho (Division of Monitoring and Analysis, Saemangeum Regional Environmental Office, National Institute Environment Research) ;
  • Kunhikrishnan, Anitha (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kang, Dae-Won (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Min-Ji (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Yoo, Ji-Hyock (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Doo Ho (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Young-Ja (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Won Il (Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration)
  • 김지영 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 이지호 (새만금지방환경청 측정분석과) ;
  • ;
  • 강대원 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 김민지 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 류지혁 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 김두호 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 이영자 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부) ;
  • 김원일 (국립농업과학원 농산물안전성부)
  • Received : 2012.08.16
  • Accepted : 2012.12.18
  • Published : 2012.12.31


BACKGROUND: The Transfer Factor (TF) of heavy metals from soil to plant is important, because TF is an indicator of heavy metal in soils and a factor that quantifies bioavailability of heavy metals to agricultural products. This study was conducted to investigate the transfer ability of Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), and Lead (Pb) from soil to agricultural products. METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated heavy metals (As, Cd and Pb) concentrations in 9 agricultural products (rice, barely, corn, pulse, lettuce, pumpkin, apple, pear, tangerin) and soil. TF of agricultural products was evaluated based on total and HCl-extractable soil concentration of As, Cd, and Pb. Regression analysis was used to predict the relationship of total and HCl-extractable concentration with agricultural product contents of As, Cd, and Pb. The result showed that TF was investigated average 0.006~0.309 (As), 0.002~6.185 (Cd), 0.003~0.602 (Pb). The mean TF value was the highest as rice 0.309 in As, lettuce 6.185, pear 0.717, rice 0.308 in Cd, lettuce 0.602, pumpkin 0.536 in Pb which were dependent on the vegetable species and cereal is showed higher than fruit-vegetables in As. CONCLUSION(S): Soil HCl-extractable concentration of As, Cd, and Pb had the larger effects on thier contents in agricultural products than total soil concentrations. We suggests that TF are served as influential factor on the prediction of uptake. Further study for uptake and accumulation mechanism of toxic metals by agricultural products will be required to assess the human health risk and need TF of more agricultural products.


Agricultural products;Heavy metals;Monitoring;Soils;Transfer-Factor (TF)


Grant : Research Program for Agricultural Science & Technology Development

Supported by : Rural Development Administration


  1. Brun, L.A., Maillet, J., Richarte, J., Herrmann, P., Remy, J.C., 1998. Relationships between extractable copper, soil properties and copper uptake by wild plants in vineyard soils, Environmental Pollution. 102, 151-161.
  2. Cao, H., Chen, J., Zhang, J., Zhang, H., Qiao, L., Men, Y. 2010. Heavy metals in rice and garden vegetables and their potential health risks to inhabitants in the vicinity of an industrial zone in Jiangsu, China, J. Environmental Sciences. 22(11), 1792-1799.
  3. Cui, Y.J., Zhu, Y.G., Zhai, R.H., Chen, D.Y., Hung, Y.Z., Qui, Y., 2004. Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables in an areas near a smelter in Nanning, China Environ. Int. 30 (6), 785-791.
  4. Dudka, S., Piotrowska, M., Telerak, H., 1996. Transfer of cadmium, lead and Zinc from industrially contaminated soil to crop plants: a field study, Environ. Pollut. 94(2), 181-188.
  5. Fergusson, J.E., 1990. The Heavy elements. Chemistry, Environmental Impact and Health Effect, Pergamon Press, Oxford, UK.
  6. Greger, M., Malm, T., Kautsky, L., 2007. Heavy metal transfer from composted macroalgae to crops, Eur. J. Agron. 26, 257-265.
  7. Huang, R., Gao, S., Wang, W., Staunton, S., Wang, G., 2006. Soil arsenic availability and the transfer of soil arsenic to crops in suburban areas in Fujian Province, southeast China, Sci Total Environ. 368, 531--541.
  8. Jung, G.B., Kim, W.I., Lee, J.S., Shin, J.D., Kim, J.H., Yun, S.G., 2005. Availability of heavy metals in soils with different characteristics and controversial points for analytical methods of soil contamination in Korea, Korean J. Environ. Agric. 19(2), 128-133.
  9. Kim, J,Y., Choi, N.G., Yoo, J.H., Lee, J.H., Lee, Y.G., Jo, K.K., Lee, C.H., Hong, S.M., Im, G.J., Hong, M.K., Kim, W.I., 2011. Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Cadmium and Lead in Agricultural Products, Korean J Environ Agric. 30(3), 330-338.
  10. Klocke, A., Sauerbeck, D.R., Vetter, H., 1984. The contaminations of plant and soils with heavy metals, and the transport of metals in terrestrial food chain. in: Nriagu, J.O. (Ed.), Changing Metal Cycles and Human Health: report of the Dahlem Workshop on Changing Metal Cycles and Human Health, Germany, pp. 113-114.
  11. Lee, M.H., Kim, T.S., Lee, M.S., Ahn, Y.J., Lee, M.H., Lee, J.Y., Yang, J.Y., Lee, H.M., Kim M.J., Park, J.W., Lee, K.G., Jeung, S.W., Nam, K.P., Ryu, H.L., Choi, S.I., Ko, I.W., 2009. Risk Assessment of Soil, pp. 116-118, Dongwha Technology, Korea.
  12. Lee, J.H., Kim, J.Y., Go, W.R., Jeong, E.J., Kunhikrishnan, A, Jung, G.B, Kim D.H., Kim W.I., 2012. Current research trends for heavy metals of agricultural soils and crop uptake in Korea, Korean J Environ Agric. 31(1), 75-95.
  13. McLaughlin, M.J., Hanmon, R.E., MacLaren, R.G., Speir, T.W. & Rogers, S.L. 2000. Review: a bioavailability-based rationale for controlling metal and metalloid contamination of agricultural land in Australia and New Zealand, Aust. J. Soil Res. 38, 1037-1086.
  14. Nan, Z., Li, J., Zhang, G., Cheng, G., 2002. Cadmium and zinc interaction and their transfer in soil crop system under actual field conditions, Sci. Total Environ. 285, 187-195.
  15. Nan, Z., Zhao, C., Liu, X., Saha, U.K., Lena, Q., Ma and Abigail, R., Clarke-Sather, R., 2010. The uptake and translocation of selected elements by Cole (Brassica) grown using oasis soils in pot experiments 2010, Toxicol. Environ. Chem. 92 (8), 1541-1549.
  16. Samical, A.I., Hotea, V., Oros, V., Juhasz, J., Pop, E., 2008. Studies on transfer and bioaccumulation of heavy metals from soil into lettuce, Environ. Eng. Manage. J. 7 (5), 609-.615.
  17. Savie, S., Cook, N., Hendershot, W.H., McBride, M.B. McBride., 1996. Linking plant tisuue concentrations and soil copper pools in urban contaminated soils, Environmental Pollution. 94, 153-157.
  18. Puschenreiter, M., Horak, O., 2000. Influence of different soil parameters on the transfer factor soil to plant of Cd Cu and Zn for wheat and rye Die, Bodenkultur, 51 (1), 3-10.
  19. Uchida, S., Tagami, K., Hirai, I., 2007. Soil to plant transfer factors of stable elements and naturally occurring radionuclides in upland field crops collected in Japan, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol. 44, 628--640.
  20. Wang, Y., Qiao, M., Liu, Y., Zhu, Y., 2012. Health risk assessment of heavy metals in soils and vegetables from wastewater irrigated area, Beijing-Tianjin city cluster, China J. Environmental Sciences, 24(4), 690-.698.
  21. Zeng X.B., Li, LF., Mei. X.R., 2008. Heavy metal content in Chinese vegetable plantation land soils and related source analysis, Agric. Sci. China, 7(9), 1115-1126.
  22. Zeng, F., Ali, S., Zhang, H., Ouyang, Y., Qiu, B., Wu, F., Zhang, G., 2012. The influence of pH and organic matter content in paddy soil on heavy metal availability and their uptake by rice plants, Environ.Pollut. 59(1), 84-91.

Cited by

  1. Comparative Study on the Human Risk Assessment of Heavy Metal Contamination between Two Abandoned Metal Mines in Korea vol.37, pp.11, 2015,
  2. Comparison of Various Single Chemical Extraction Methods for Predicting the Bioavailability of Arsenic in Paddy Soils vol.47, pp.6, 2014,
  3. Comparison of Bioavailability and Biological Transfer Factor of Arsenic in Agricultural Soils with Different Crops vol.47, pp.6, 2014,
  4. Comparing Bioavailability of Cadmium and Arsenic in Agricultural Soil Under Varied pH Condition vol.48, pp.1, 2015,
  5. Risk Analysis of Inorganic Arsenic in Foods vol.31, pp.4, 2016,
  6. Uptake and Accumulation of Arsenate on Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Grown in Soils Mixed with Various Rates of Arsenopyrite Gravel vol.59, pp.4, 2014,
  7. Mercury Contents of Medicinal Plants and the Cultivated Soils in Korea vol.47, pp.6, 2014,
  8. Human Risk Assessment of Arsenic and Heavy Metal Contamination and Estimation of Remediation Concentration within Abandoned Metal Mine Area vol.28, pp.4, 2015,
  9. Effects of Industrial By-products on Reducing Heavy Metal Leaching in Contaminated Paddy Soil vol.48, pp.1, 2015,
  10. Partitioning of Heavy Metals between Rice Plant and Limestone-stabilized Paddy Soil Contaminated with Heavy Metals vol.20, pp.4, 2015,
  11. A Study on the Risk Assessment and Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) for Heavy Metals in Soil vol.51, pp.06, 2014,
  12. Comparisons of human risk assessment models for heavy metal contamination within abandoned metal mine areas in Korea pp.1573-2983, 2018,