How Simple Plants Can Help With Soil Remediation

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After the horrific events of Hurricane Katrina, the people in New Orleans had to face the task of cleaning up an entire city. And it included soil remediation to clean up the contaminated soil and remove any harmful chemicals carried in with the flood waters.

Just as in any soil remediation procedure, the first step was to sample and analyze the soil to create a contaminant profile. The results showed some areas affected by the flood-borne chemicals, but the soil also showed older traces of lead contamination.

The phase i environmental site assessment is a report prepared for a real estate holding that identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. 

Realities of lead contamination of soil

Lead is a heavy metal that cannot be absorbed or broken down by plants, animals, or humans. Exposure to high levels has been shown to harm younger children, including the behavioral problems, attention-deficit disorders, and reduced IQ levels.

Unfortunately, New Orleans is not a rare case. Lead contamination of the soil is common across many US cities, along with organic man-made products such as petroleum and fertilizers.

However, while soil remediation techniques exist to break-down the organic contaminants present in the soil, removing the toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury is not so easy.

In urban redevelopment projects, soil remediation involves evacuating the contaminated soil from the ground and treating it with chemical processes. However, this is too expensive for most private properties. 

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