State of the Art of Phytoremediation in Brazil—Review and Perspectives

Cassiano A.R. Bernardino, Claudio F. Mahler, Karla H. Preussler, Luís A.B. Novo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The pollution of terrestrial and aquatic environments with heavy metals is a serious concern on a worldwide scale. Trace elements can be highly toxic and carcinogenic for human health while also detrimental to animal and plant life of ecosystems surrounding contamination hotspots. Phytoremediation is a low-cost and environment-friendly plant-based technique to alleviate polluted areas, which constitutes a viable alternative to other complex, costly, and often harmful traditional methods. Phytoremediation is particularly interesting for Brazil, given the country’s rich biodiversity and climate. This mini-review covers some of the most important results in phytoremediation studies carried out in Brazil to date, with a particular focus on the potential of the Brazilian flora for phytostabilization and phytoextraction, the two main subcategories of phytoremediation. Moreover, it includes data from two previously unpublished trials about phytoremediation of metal-polluted soil and water with vetiver grass and four wetland macrophytes (water hyacinth, creeping river grass, alligator weed, and water lettuce).

Original languageEnglish
Article number272
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jul 2016
Publication statusFirst published - 19 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Heavy metals
  • Metal hyperaccumulation
  • Metal pollution
  • Phytoremediation
  • Soil reclamation
  • Water reclamation


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