Toxics. 2022 Oct 27;10(11):643. doi: 10.3390/toxics10110643.
The accumulation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons in plants is considered one of the most serious threats faced by mankind because of their persistence in the environment and their carcinogenic and teratogenic effect on human health. The concentrations of sixteen priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (16 PAHs) were determined in four types of edible vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, and cucumbers), irrigation water, and agriculture soil, where samples were collected from the Jordan Valley, Jordan. The mean total concentration of 16 PAHs (∑16PAHs) ranged from 10.649 to 21.774 µg kg-1 in vegetables, 28.72 µg kg-1 in soil, and 0.218 µg L-1 in the water samples. The tomato samples posed the highest ∑16PAH concentration level in the vegetables, whereas the zucchini samples had the lowest. Generally, the PAHs with a high molecular weight and four or more benzene rings prevailed among the studied samples. The diagnostic ratios and the principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the PAH contamination sources in soil and vegetables mainly originated from a pyrogenic origin, traffic emission sources, and biomass combustion. The bioconcentration factors (BCF) for ∑16PAHs have been observed in the order of tomatoes > cucumbers and eggplants > zucchini. A potential cancer risk related to lifetime consumption was revealed based on calculating the incremental lifetime cancer risk of PAHs (ILCR). Therefore, sustainable agricultural practices and avoiding biomass combusting would greatly help in minimizing the potential health risk from dietary exposure to PAHs.