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Re: contaminated soils

Here is some information I have concerning soil contamination hope it helps.


Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Standards

Metal             low, average, direct contact maximum acceptable amount

cadmium        3mcg/gm,1.2mcg/gm,200mcg/gm

copper            23-40mcg/gm, 32mcg/gm, 16,000mcg/gm

chromium            33-77mcg/gm, 18mcg/gm, over 2,000mcg/gm

lead                  78-146mcg/gm, 21mcg/gm, over 400mcg/gm

zinc                    47mcg/gm(average), 140,000mcg/gm

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
Direct contact maximum acceptable amount in ppm (parts per million)

DDT                                 29,000ppm

DDD                                41,000ppm

DDE                                29,000ppm

Chlordane                       17,000ppm
Heptachlor Expoxide

Dieldrin                            620ppm

Dicofol                             no DEQ standard; limited use; similar to

Diazinon                           76,000ppm

Extra info:

Use Compost.  Compounds like DDT and lead can be retained in the soil by
adding organic matter like compost.  Compost has properties that cause some
compounds to 'bind' to the compost, and sometimes it even helps to degrade
the compound.
Tilling in compost can also help to dilute the amount of a compound in the

Growing green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, chard, collards should be

There are two people working around the New York area sculptor Mel Chin and
Rufus Chaney, an agronomist who have been studying which plants have the
best ability to absorb heavy metals and toxic chemicals from the soil in
which they're grown.  Check out "Heavy Metal Garden"  by Amy Adams May-June
1998 issue of The Utne Reader (first printed in New Scientist Dec.27 1997
from IPC magazines)  From what I understand this process is called
phytoremediation and the following web sites may be of interest.

Phytoremediation of Lead in Soil

 Phytoremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils

A Citizen's Guide to Phytoremediation

-----Original Message-----

From: Barbara Hardy <bhhardy@bellsouth.net>
To: Elaine Petkovsek <epetkovsek@envdesigni.com>
Cc: 'community_garden@mallorn.com' <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Date: Monday, November 15, 1999 8:06 AM
Subject: Re: [cg] contaminated soils

>I would be interested in learning about this as well. Elaine, could you
post to
>the list a summary of  your received responses?
>Thank you,
>Barbara Hardy
>Elaine Petkovsek wrote:
>> I am interested in finding publications and/or information relating to
>> levels of contaminants in soil in gardens being used for community
>> In my work as an environmental engineer, I often encounter contaminants
>> concentrations above state regulated levels for residential properties,
>> are below "background" levels found in urban areas.  These include
>> berrylium, and polynuclear aromatic compounds.  These metals and
>> are often found at levels which exceed that standards for the ingestion
>> pathway soil remediation objectives listed in the Illinois EPA's TACO
>> regulations.  I would like to see some information on acceptable levels
>> metals/PNAs in soils in which food crops are to be grown.  In addition, I
>> would be interested in receiving information on food crops which should
>> be grown in urban gardens, since they tend to draw toxins out of the
>> If you have information on any or all of these subjects, please contact
>> via e-mail at my home address:  orion@adash.com.  Elaine Petkovsek
>> _______________________________________________
>> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
>> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
>community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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