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USA: Urban Soils are Safe for Gardening

USA: Urban Soils are Safe for Gardening

A six-year study at Kansas State University indicates that crops grown in contaminated urban soils present little to no risk for people eating those crops when gardeners have followed best practices. The findings are significant for urban and suburban gardeners, who according to a 2012 estimate from the USDA, provide about 15% of the world’s food, much of that on vacant lands. Many urban gardens are on land affected by previous use, such as brownfield sites, or abandoned properties with contamination issues. After testing many urban gardens in seven cities across the US for the presence of contaminants in foods grown on contaminated soils, researchers found that lead was the most common soil contaminant. Several sites also contained elevated levels of arsenic. These contaminants, however, were scarcely present in the food harvested from these gardens. “The science indicates there is very little risk to humans who consume these foods,” say researchers. (Source: sciencedaily.com)