Potential Health Risk of Nitrate Accumulation in Vegetables Grown in Pol-e Dokhtar County

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, School of science, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Soil and Water Research Department, Zanjan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, AREEO, Zanjan, Iran

4 Associate professor, Department of Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran



Vegetables as one of the most important sources of nitrate, have positive and negative effects on human health. The goal of this paper was to estimate the nitrate concentration in vegetables production in Pol-e Dokhtar County as one of the main centers of Iranian vegetable production and the possible health risks correlated with high concentration of nitrate in theses crops. Using United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) method, the risk was evaluated and presented as risk diagrams. Additionally, type, amount and method of fertilization in farms with different concentrations of nitrate in vegetables were presented. Almost, all results were within the range of nitrate concentrations in vegetables. Lettuce and Persian leek (716.200 and 378.500 mg NO3 kg−1 FW, respectively) were the most and least predominant contributors in total NO3 uptake, respectively. The risk diagrams showed that all values were lower than the acceptable levels for each of vegetables. Furthermore, in most age groups, this index was greater in women than in men. According to the information in the questionnaires, perhaps one of the most important factors in reducing the nitrate accumulation in the vegetables of Pol-e Dokhtar is due to optimal and timely use of fertilizer. Use of nitrogen fertilizers in form of split in 73% of fields decreased the nitrate concentration in plants with no reduction in yield. Therefore, considering crop yields and nitrate accumulation impacts, improved nitrogen management could provide an opportunity to promote production of vegetables and reducing the effects of negative health in high-risk regions in Lorestan Province.


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