Re: Other treatments for toxic areas

At 04:17 PM 1/24/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I understand that mustard plants can be used to soak up toxins, such as
>lead, from the soil.  The plants are then destroyed and not composted of
>course.  It is alo my understanding that fruit in general does not
>absorb toxins readily from the soil and thus can be planted safely in
>such areas.
>What other plants can be used to absorb toxins, and what other plants
>are safe to plant and eat from in such areas?
>Jim Kocher-Hillmer, Pittsburgh  PA  USA        
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Hi jim.
Two comments,
1. For many kinds of soil pollution it's probably more effective to utilize
bacteria and other micro-organizims than plants.  You do this primarily by
manageing their environment and feeding them.  The diversity of these
creatures is incredible and provides many more ways to crack toxic materials
than the plant world.  Examples of such pollution: petrolium, toxic organic
2. Plants are best at taking up heavy metals like lead or cadmium.  Also
consider pH of the soil, each mineral will be availiable a differant rates
at a given pH.  
Mark >