ABSTRACT This paper summarizes our studies on metal and metalloid uptake by the date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L., a tree of considerable importance in arid regions. The typical concentrations of 17 elements in the date palm are summarized and compared with existing data in the scientific literature. The role and toxicity of these elements are considered. Issues encountered by us during sample collection, pre-treatment and chemical analysis are described. Future studies are suggested.
Cite this paper
nullJ. Williams and A. Pillay, "Metals, Metalloids and Toxicity in Date Palms: Potential Environmental Impact," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 5, 2011, pp. 592-600. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.25068.
 S. M. Al-Shayeb, M. A. Al-Rajhi and M. R. D. Seaward, “The Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.) as a Biomonitor of Lead and Other Elements in Arid Environments,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 168, No. 1, 1995, pp. 1-10. doi:10.1016/0048-9697(95)04556-G
 W. H. Barrevel, FAO Agricultural Service Bulletin (Rome), 1993, p. 101.
 S. M. Al-Shayeb, “Comparison Study of Phoenix Dactylifera L. and Nerium Oleander L. as Biomonitors for Lead and Other Elements,” Asian Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2002, pp. 597-601.
 A. K. Yousif, N. D. Benjamin, A. Kado, S. M. Alddin and S. M. Ali, “Chemical Composition of Four Iraqi Date Cultivars,” Date Palm Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1982, pp. 285-294.
 W. N. Sawaya, H. A. Khatchadourian, J. K. Khalil, W. M. Safi and A. Al-Shalhat, “Growth and Compositional Changes during the Various Development Stages of Some Saudi Arabian Date Cultivars,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 47, No. 9, 1982, pp. 1489-1497.
 C. Smith and H. Farrankop, “Vitamin Contents of 15 Varieties of Arizona Dates,” Report of the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, No. 69, 1945.
 E. G. Zook, “Mineral Composition of Fruits,” Journal of the American Dieticians’ Association, Vol. 53, No. 6, 1968, pp. 588-591.
 A. Aksoy and M. Ozturk, “Phoenix Dactylifera L. as a Biomonitor of Heavy Metal Pollution in Turkey,” Journal of Trace and Microprobe Techniques, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1996, pp. 605-614.
 A. H. Bu-Olayan and B. V. Thomas, “Biomonitoring Studies on the Effect of Lead in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Arid Ecosystem of Kuwait,” Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2002, pp. 133-139.
 A. L. Al-Khlaifat and O. A. Al-Khashman, “Atmospheric Heavy Metal Pollution in Aqaba City, Jordan, Using Phoenix Dactylifera L. Leaves,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 41, No. 39, 2007, pp. 8891-8897.
 J. B. Jones Jr., “Plant Nutrition Manual,” CRC Press, New York, 1998.
 A. J. Shaw, “Heavy Metal Tolerance in Plants: Evolutionary Aspects,” CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1989.
 H. Jonkers, “Biennial Bearing in Apple and Pear: A Literature Survey,” Scientia Horticulturae, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1979, pp. 303-317. doi:10.1016/0304-4238(79)90015-3
 G. M. Gadd and A. J. Griffiths, “Microorganisms and Heavy Metal Toxicity,” Microbial Ecology, Vol. 4, 1978, pp. 303-317. doi:10.1007/BF02013274
 T. Duxbury, “Ecological Aspects of Heavy Metal Responses in Microorganisms,” In: K. C. Marshall, Ed., Advances in Microbial Ecology, Plenum Press, New York, 1985, p. 185.
 C. Sorentino, “The Effects of Heavy Metals on Phytoplankton: A Review,” Phykos, Vol. 18, 1979, pp. 149- 161.
 L. C. Rai, J. P. Gaur and H. D. Kumar, “Phycology and Heavy Metal Pollution,” Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Vol. 56, 1981, pp. 99-151.
 M. Awadallah, A. H. Amrallah and F. Grass, “Environmental and Chemical Studies on Trace Element Levels in Some Egyptian Fruit and Condiments,” In: Environmental Radiochemical Analysis, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1999, pp. 330-342.
 J. R. Williams, A. E. Pillay, M. O. El Mardi, S. M. H. Al-Lawati and A. Al-Hamdi, “Levels of Selected Metals in the Fard Cultivar (Date Palm),” Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2005, pp. 211-225.
 A. K. De, “Environmental Chemistry,” Wiley Eastern Ltd., New Delhi, 1990.
 N. I. Ward, “Trace Elements,” In: F. W. Fifield and P. W. Haines, Eds., Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Blackwell, Oxford, 2000, pp. 360-392.
 M. Kalin and P. M. Stokes, “Macrofungi on Uranium Mill Tailings – Associations and Metal Content,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 19, 1981, pp. 83-94.
 S. Manahan, “Environmental Chemistry,” Lewis, London, 1994.
 I. Pulford and H. Flowers, “Environmental Chemistry at a Glance,” Blackwell, Oxford, 2006.
 J. B. Jones Jr., B. Wolf and H. A. Mills, “Plant Analysis Handbook,” Micro-Macro Publishers, Georgia, USA, 1991, pp. 75-76.
 C. Baird, “Environmental Chemistry,” Freeman, New York, 1999.
 A. Marzec and R. Bulinski, “Content of Selected Elements in Dried Fruits,” Bromatologia i Chemia Toksykologiczna, Vol. 30, No. 1, 1997, pp. 75-78.
 E. W. A. Mofida, “Determination of Some Toxic Elements in Local Foodstuff of Saudi Arabia Kingdom Using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy,” Journal of the Saudi Chemical Society, Vol. 6, 2002, pp. 7-14.
 A. E. Pillay, J. R. Williams, S. M. Hassan, M. O. El Mardi and A. Al-Hamdi, “Monitoring of Cadmium in ‘on’ and ‘off’ Date Palms,” Environment International, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2002, pp. 273-276.
 S. E. Waheed, N. Siddique, A. Rahman, S. Saeed, J. H. Zaidi and S. Ahmad, “INAA and ETAAS of Toxic Element Content of Fruits Harvested and Consumed in Pakistan,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 262, No. 3, 2004, pp. 691-696.
 I. M. Aldjain, M. H. Al-Whaibi, S. S. Al-Showiman and M. H. Siddiqui, “Determination of Heavy Metals in the Fruit of Date Palm Growing at Different Locations of Riyadh,” Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 2011, in Press. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2010.12.001
 S. M. Al-Shayeb and M. R. D. Seaward, “The Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Fibre as a Biomonitor of Lead and Other Elements in Arid Environments,” Asian Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2000, pp. 954-966.
 A. E. Pillay, J. R. Williams, M. O. El Mardi, S. M. H. Al-Lawati, M. H. Al-Hadabbi and A. Al-Hamdi, “Risk Assessment of Chromium and Arsenic in Date Palm Leaves Used as Livestock Feed,” Environment International, Vol. 29, 2003, pp. 541-545.
 L. P. Gough, L. L. Jackson and J. A. Sacklin, “Determining Baseline Element Composition of Lichens. II. Hypogymnia Entermorpha and Usnea spp. at Redwood National Park, California,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 38, 1988, pp. 169-180.
 I. Olmez, M. C. Gulovali and G. E. Gordon, “Trace Element Concentrations in Lichens near a Coal-Fired Power Plant,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 19, No. 10, 1985, pp. 1663-1669. doi:10.1016/0004-6981(85)90218-5
 S. Smith, “Ecological and Health Effects of Chemical Pollution,” In: R. M. Harrison, Ed., Understanding Our Environment – An Introduction to Environmental Chemistry and Pollution, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1999.
 J. R. Williams, A. E. Pillay and B. Yaghi, “Date Palm Leaflets: Bioindicators of Total Mercury in Soil and Assessment of the Potential for Biomagnification of Total Mercury along a Food Chain,” Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2008, pp. 27-29.
 N. Krasnow, “Effects of Lanthanum and Gadolinium Ions on Cardiac Sarcoplasmic Reticulum,” BBA – Biomembranes, Vol. 282, 1972, pp. 187-194.
 N. Krasnow, “Lanthanide Inhibition of Calcium Binding by Muscle Microsomes: ATP and Time Dependency,” Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1978, pp. 55-66.
 T. Funakoshi, K. Furushima, H. Shimada and S. Kojima, “Anticoagulant Action of Rare Earth Metals,” Biochemical International, Vol. 28, 1992, pp. 113-119.
 V. G. Grivennikova, E. V. Gavrikova and A. D. Vinogradov, “An Increase of the Energy Coupling Capacity of Submitochondrial Particles by Lanthanides,” FEBS Letters, Vol. 347, No. 2-3, 1994, pp. 243-246.
 H. Liu, L. Yuan, X. Yang and K. Wang, “La3+, Gd3+ and Yb3+ Induced Changes in Mitochondrial Structure, Membrance Permeability, Cytochrome c Release and Intracellular ROS Level,” Chemico-Biological Interactions, Vol. 146, No. 1, 2003, pp. 27-37.
 L. Feng, H. Xiao, X. He, Z. Li, F. Li, N. Liu, Z. Chai, Y. Zhao and Z. Zhang, “Long-Term Effects of Lanthanum Intake on the Neurobehavioral Development of the Rat,” Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2006, pp. 119-124. doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2005.10.007
 L. Feng, H. Xiao, X. He, Z. Li, F. Li, N. Liu, Y. Zhao, Y. Huang, Z. Zhang and Z. Chai, “Neurotoxicological Consequence of Long-Term Exposure to Lanthanum,” Toxicology Letters, Vol. 165, 2006, pp. 112-120.
 A. E. Pillay, J. R. Williams, T. Khan, S. Al-Saidi and B. Yaghi, “Elevated Levels of Rare Earths from Sewage Plant Attached to Hospital Complex,” Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2009, pp. 93-95.
 R. N. Reeve, “Environmental Analysis,” Wiley, Chichester, 1994.
 S. M. Al-Shayeb and M. R. D. Seaward, “Sampling Standardisation of Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.) Leaflets as a Biomonitor of Metal Pollutants in Arid Environments,” Asian Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2000, pp. 977-989.
 S. M. Al-Shayeb, “Lead and Other Elements in Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.) Fruits (Dates),” Asian Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2002, pp. 577-582.
 J. R. Williams and A. E. Pillay, “Monitoring Nickel Uptake in Date Palms from Nickel-Contaminated Soil,” Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2009, pp. 5-9.
 A. L. J. Peter and T. Viraraghavan, “Thallium: A Review of Public Health and Environmental Concerns,” Environment International, Vol. 31, 2005, pp. 493-501.
 B. Mukherjee, B. Patra, S. Mahapatra, P. Banerjee, A. Tiwari and M. Chatterjee, “Vanadium – An Element of Atypical Biological Significance,” Toxicology Letters, Vol. 150, No. 1, 2004, pp. 135-143.
 S. S. Zumdahl and S. A. Zumdahl, “Chemistry,” Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2007.
 A. E. Pillay, J. R. Williams, S. M. Hassan, M. O. El Mardi and A. Al-Hamdi, “Boron and the Alternate- Bearing Phenomenon in the Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera),” Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 62, No. 2, 2005, pp. 199-207. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2004.11.007
 E. Epstein, “The Anomaly of Silica in Plant Biology,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Vol. 91, 1994, pp. 11-17. doi:10.1073/pnas.91.1.11
 M. Radojevi? and V. N. Bashkin, “Practical Environmental Analysis,” The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1999.
 M. O. El Mardi, S. B. Salama, E. C. Consolacion and M. Al-Solomi, “Effect of Treated Sewage Water on the Con- centration of Certain Nutrient Elements in Date Palm Leaves and Fruits,” Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, Vol. 29, No. 5-6, 1998, pp. 763-776.
 D. C. Harris, “Quantitative Chemical Analysis,” Freeman, New York, 1999.