Review of organic and conventional agricultural products: Heavy metal availability, accumulation and safety
Chandana Janaka Abeywickrama, Jagath Wansapala
This paper provides a broad review of the process of heavy metal entering to food chain via different sources. A thorough study was conducted on heavy metals including possible sources, parameters control the plant availability in micro environment, mechanism of taking up by plants, translocation through the plants, extent of heavy metals in organically amended soils, impact of organic fertilizer on heavy metal availability and finally, the novel strategies available for removal of heavy metals from the environment. Metal contamination issues are becoming increasingly common in Sri Lanka and everywhere. Heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, arsenic and chromium are major environmental pollutants, particularly areas in high anthropogenic activities. Agricultural activates have been identified as major source of heavy metals entering to food chain and, organic agriculture has been popularized throughout the world recent past due to safety and environmental concerns. However, limited evidence exists for comparison heavy metal content in the products of conventional and organic systems and, a thorough analysis is required to confirm the safety of organic products.