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The accumulation and translocation of trace metals in soil and in sugarcane crop irrigated with treated effluents from sugar industry compared to soil and sugarcane crop irrigated with bore-well water were determined. In the present study the impact of irrigation with treated effluent from the sugar industry on the trace metal contamination of sugarcane juice was assessed. It revealed that the mean concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn and Zn in the soil of fields irrigated with effluent and in juice from sugarcane grown on such fields were higher than those from bore-well water irrigated fields. The concentrations of trace metals in treated effluent exceeded the permissible limits of the Indian standards (Central Pollution Control Board-2000). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu and Zn in juice of sugarcane grown on fields irrigated with effluent also exceeded the permissible limits of Indian standards and WHO/FAO expert committee recommendations. Their concentrations in juice of sugarcane grown in fields irrigated with bore-well water were within the limits of safety, except for Cd. The transfer factor for Zn was considerably higher than those of the other trace metals. The metal concentrations of sugarcane juice showed significant correlations with those of soil, which was not the case when bore well water was used for irrigation.
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