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Re: lead in soil

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  • MikeL
    ... There is some good data on this site that you found. As you said it lists which vegetables take in the most and least lead. Research indicates that some
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2002
      David Stephensen wrote:
      > >Hi Mike
      > My researches have located a good fact sheet on lead in soil, explaining how to avoid problems with it. It includes lists of vegetables with lead uptake risks. The main problem seems to be contaminated soil sticking to the vegetable rather than lead absorption.
      > You may wish to publish it on TT
      > http://www.lead.org.au/fs/fst6.html
      > Regards
      > David

      There is some good data on this site that you found. As you said it
      lists which vegetables take in the most and least lead.

      Research indicates that some leafy vegetables and herbs collect
      lead dust
      from the air as well as the soil more readily than other
      vegetables. Always
      remember to thoroughly wash all fruit and vegetables prior to
      storage and
      eating. Peel root vegetables.

      HIGH uptake of lead Lettuce, Spinach, Carrot,
      Cress, Beetroot

      MODERATE uptake Onion, Mustard, Potato,

      LOW uptake Corn, Cauliflower, Asparagus,

      VERY LOW uptake of lead Beans, Peas, Melon, Tomatoes,

      If your soil is high in organic matter and at an approximately
      neutral acidic
      level (i.e. a pH of about 6.5 to 7), most of the lead that is
      present in the soil will
      become bound to soil particles in a way that prevents it from
      incorporated into growing crops. You can adjust your pH level if
      it is too
      acidic (under 6.5) by adding wood ashes (but NOT ashes from
      painted wood
      which may have contained lead) or an appropriate commercial
      Organic matter can be added by using kitchen scraps that have

      How are we affected by lead?

      You or your children could have elevated blood lead levels and not
      know it because even though serious, long term damage is occurring,
      patients usually do not show symptoms until levels are very high. Low
      levels of lead can cause brain damage, learning difficulties,
      behavioural problems, kidney damage, hearing impairment, growth
      retardation and many other affects, but these are often difficult to
      recognize until the damage is done. High levels of lead can cause
      miscarriage, birth defects, coma and death.

      Symptoms, when they do occur are often subtle and are attributed to
      other causes. In children these can be irritability, tiredness or
      decreased play activity, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, muscle aches,
      vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and headaches. Adults can also suffer
      loss of libido, infertility and elevated blood pressure.

      Women of child bearing age : The human body mistakes lead for calcium
      and stores lead in our bones.
      During pregnancy a woman’s hormones may mobilise calcium for the
      growth of the baby and also mobilise any lead that she has laid down on
      her bones anytime throughout her life. Lead has a half life in the bone
      for almost 30 years.

      Men : Very small amounts of lead can affect libido, fertility and blood
      pressure. This hypertension (high blood pressure) increases the risk of
      heart attack and stroke.

      Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning can be found in detail at

      Identification and Management of Lead Affected People at:

      Blood lead level
      Symptoms / Indicators

      (10 – 25 µg/dL)
      No symptoms.
      Symptoms will not be
      present at these levels,
      but can show up later as
      reduced IQ, learning
      difficulties, delays in
      development and
      behavioural problems

      1.20–2.17 µmol/L
      (25 – 45 µg/dL)
      No symptoms

      2.17 – 2.66 µmol/L
      (45 – 55 µg/dL)
      Moderate Lead

      muscle pains
      weight loss

      >2.66 µmol/L
      ( >55 µg/dL)
      Severe lead poisoning

      abdominal pain
      general fatigue
      severe head ache

      >3.38 µmol/L
      ( >70 µg/dL)
      Medical emergency

      gingival lead line

      Note: I cut an pasted into this e-mail some of the more important things
      we need to have as a reference.

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