Genotoxic effects after in vivo exposure of vegetable extracts containing heavy metals from the Dhapa area of Calcutta, India. I. Effects of cauliflower, spinach and radish
Sommaire de l'article
Several reports have indicated that the sewage-fed Vegetables of the Dhapa area, near the city of Calcutta, contain a very high amount of heavy metals. Currently 800 ha of land is being utilised throughout the year to cultivate more than eight types of vegetables, with a production of about 147 tonnes per day. A major population of Calcutta consumes these vegetables grown in the Dhapa area. Recently there has been huge pressure on the State Government to ban vegetables grown in the Dhapa area for human consumption. For this reason, we have studied the genotoxic effects of some of the most commonly used vegetable extracts from the Dhapa area after in vivo acute exposure in mice as measured by chromosomal aberrations (CA) and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) to find out the minimum threshold dose to induce CA and SCE. Three different concentrations of the three most commonly used vegetable extracts (cauliflower, spinach, radish) were fed by gavage to mice for the study of CA and SCE. A significant increase in CA was observed only at the highest concentration of all the vegetable extract-treated groups when compared with the solvent control. A significant increase in SCE were observed in the middle and high doses of spinach and only the high dose of cauliflower and radish extract-treated series when compared with distilled water control. The lowest dose was equivalent to approximately 1 kg of vegetables consumed by a human (60 kg body weight) in a day. The middle and high doses of each vegetable extract were much higher than the normal amount of vegetables that a human can consume per day. So the minimum dose for inducing SCE and CA was much higher than the amount a human can consume in a day. Therefore this study indicates that these vegetables are safe for human consumption up to a certain limit, and attention should be given to reducing the heavy metal contents in the soil and sewage of the Dhapa area to thus reduce the heavy metal concentrations in the vegetables.