Timothy Trott

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2019


Environmental exposure to heavy metals such as lead pose a significant health threat. The goal of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of Coriandrum sativum (Cilantro) as a potential lead (II), Pb2+, phytoremediator. C. sativumplants were allowed to grow for 43 days while exposed to with different amounts of lead nitrate, Pb(NO3)2. Lead exposure was accomplished by regular watering with a concentration series of lead nitrate solutions. The roots and shoots of these plants were separated and dried. Ground plant material was liquefied by nitric acid digestion. The amount of lead absorbed by each plant sample was determined by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (FAAS). A Kruskal-Wallis test found a significant difference between the amounts of lead detected in the plants of the four treatment groups. This difference existed both in the roots and shoots of the C. sativum. The results of this study show that greater lead exposure yielded greater lead absorption in C. sativum. This supports that C. sativum effectively absorbs lead from the environment. Further studies and refined exposure series are needed to increase statistical validity and confirm C. sativum’s phytoremediative potential.