Heavy metals and pathogens in maize - cowpea intercropping system fertilized with sewage sludge

Thiago A. R. Nogueira Regynaldo A. Sampaio Ivana M. Fonseca Cleidson S. Ferreira Sandra E. Santos Luiz C. Ferreira Eduardo Gomes Luiz A. Fernandes About the authors

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of fertilization with sewage sludge submitted to different treatments of sanitization on contamination with heavy metals and pathogens in soil and grains of maize - cowpea intercropping system. The experimental design was completely randomized blocks with three replicates, corresponding to: soil without fertilization; liming and chemical fertilization; sewage sludge; sewage sludge sanitized with nim; sewage sludge sanitized with lime; composted sewage sludge and ipomoea; sewage sludge and ipomoea composted with rock phosphate; sewage sludge with rock phosphate incorporated in the soil; sewage sludge sanitized with nim and rock phosphate incorporated in the soil; sewage sludge sanitized with lime and rock phosphate incorporated in the soil; sewage sludge and ipomoea composted with rock phosphate incorporated in the soil. The pathogen density in the soil was extremely low and there were no differences between treatments. The heavy metal concentrations in the soil, including sewage sludge, did not surpass the maximum limits of annual addition and the permissible maximum limits for soils. In spite of this, the concentrations of Pb in maize grains, and Pb and Cr in cowpea grains, reached values above the limits permitted for agricultural products, independent of the addition of sewage sludge in the soil. In general, no influence of type of sewage sludge in relation to content of heavy metals in grains of corn and cowpea was observed.

organic fertilizers; biosolid; urban residues recycling


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