How plants absorb pollutants

Source: EurekAlert

Study examines the plant-soil relationship and the uptake of contaminants in ryegrass

Madison, WI, MARCH 29, 2011 – The environmental concern is great when considering the role of toxic contaminants in the plant-soil relationship. Understanding plant’s absorption and accumulation of these contaminants from the soil would be incredibly beneficial.

One highly carcinogenic contaminant commonly found in soil is called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They are the byproduct of the incomplete combustion of coal, oil, gas, and garbage. These contaminants can also be manufactured; they can be found in certain dyes, plastics and pesticides. Since most the contaminants do not break down easily in water, they stick to solid particles in soils or settle at the bottom of waterways.

Scientific evidence associates prolonged prenatal exposure to these contaminants with low birth weight, premature delivery, heart malformations, lower IQ and childhood asthma. Long-term exposure of an adult can cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and skin.

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