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Chlordane and Soils

  • Subject: [cg] Chlordane and Soils
  • From: katherine@kccua.org
  • Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 16:01:08 -0500

Hello.  I am new to this list and want to say how glad I am to find you all.
I am Co-Director of a new organization in Kansas City, the KC Center for Urban
Agriculture, which seeks to promote small scale urban farming.  We are working
with a grower who is looking at buying several city lots that had houses on
them up until maybe 20 years ago; the houses were torn down and the lots have
been empty since then.  She wants to grow organic vegetables on them.

We've had the soil tested for lead and heavy metals (and the tests come out at
tolerable levels).  We also talked to a local guy with the EPA who raised the
issue of chlordane being used on the homes for termite control.  We talked to
a soil remediation person at K-State and he talked to a risk management person
at USDA.  Both of them indicated that soil testing for chlordane is very "hit
or miss" and that if we had concerns about its possible presence, we simply
shouldn't grow root vegetables on the sites.  (I did see some research that
indicated that chlordane uptakes nearly as efficiently into leaves and

Have any of you tested for the presence in chlordane in potential urban
community garden sites?  Does anyone have any experience with assessing the
risks of this for urban farming/gardening?  If you have tested, could you
recommend testing companies and what are the general costs?

We are somewhat perplexed as to where to go with this information and
appreciate your help in sorting it all out!

Katherine Kelly, Co-Director, Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture

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