What are soil contaminants—and how did soil get contaminated?

Posted on Feb 18 2019 - 8:28am by UOG

“The biggest risks for soil contamination are in urban areas, and former industrial sites,” writes Lauren Svejcar, a researcher at Murdoch University. “Common contaminants in urban soils include pesticides, petroleum products, radon, asbestos, lead, chromated copper arsenate, and creosote.”

Svejcar has specific tips for gardeners. “Urban gardens are usually a good idea, but it’s best to know your soil. Many vegetables and herbs can absorb contaminants as they grow. That puts you at risk if you eat them. Also, vegetables and herbs can have dust on them coming from contaminated soil. If not properly washed, you could ingest the contaminants. Some garden beds may also be lined with chemically treated wood. If you did not build your garden beds yourself, it’s best to test your soil because the chemicals can leach into the garden soil.”

READ THE ARTICLE: https://www.newswise.com/articles/what-are-soil-contaminants-and-how-did-soil-get-contaminated