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Thread: Can Lead be pulled up from the soil by plants?

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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Can Lead be pulled up from the soil by plants?

    Dr. Greger's articles are usually pretty good, but I've never heard of plants being able to pull up Lead from the soil.

    Where to Buy Tea Low in Lead
    Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on June 5th, 2018

    China burns about half of the world’s coal, spewing heavy metals such as mercury and lead into the atmosphere that affect the development of neighboring children. What if you don’t live in China or eat anything produced there? You could still be exposed to the mercury that settles in the oceans if you eat fish and other seafood. What if you drink something from China? Tea. China is one of the world’s biggest tea exporters, but their rapid industrialization has raised concerns about contamination with lead, a toxin that can affect almost every organ in the body. The more lead there is in the soil, the more lead there is that ends up in the tea leaves. And, the closer to the highway the tea is grown, the higher the lead levels. This suggests that leaded gas, which wasn’t banned in China until the year 2000, may be playing a role in the contamination of tea grown there.

    >>>More at link
    https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/06/0...eid=c21bf7ef06

  2. #2
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    Plants draw water from the soil which means they draw in whatever is in that water.
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    Numerous articles and studies show that "Heavy Metals" can be absorbed by plants. In the case of lead; the uptake is severely limited compared to other Heavy Metals present in soils. Here is a research article on the issue:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...52030500387554

    Bottom line as is usually the case; the "Numbers" in the study are insignificant when expressed as a %, or parts per million, or parts per billion. Attempts by alarmist researchers to equate vegetable uptake with Marine Life uptake in my opinion is significantly flawed. In Marine life (particularly high end Marine Life such as Tuna), the animal is concentrating Heavy Metals because all those %'s/parts per million/parts per billion are accumulated as ever increasing size of Marine life eats a smaller Marine plant or animal; as the top of the food chain is reached the amount of heavy metal has increased. This "Life Cycle Science" has been happening since creation; so it is more a case of Scientists recognizing fact - rather than current conditions creating a "Crisis".

    Bottom line is that a Plant eater (including Omnivores such as Mankind) are going to have a small uptake of Heavy metals. Not all heavy metals are treated equal in the plant world, and lead has a significantly less uptake level than other heavy metals (ie. cadmium, copper, etc..).
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    Boolit Master nvbirdman's Avatar
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    If there is lead in the coal, where did it come from? The coal was originally plants that died and after decomposition, were compressed over time into layers of coal. Those plants must have drawn lead up from the soil, and plants today are doing the same thing.

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    Lead in paint will contaminate soil in garden beds near older homes painted with lead based paint. Been there done that
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    Boolit Master
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    when leaded gasoline was still available, the local land fill would not compost leaves with the rest of the pile because of high lead content within the leaf structure. It was believed to have come from vehicle exhaust on the streets in the city limits, if it was ever proven I don't know, but I do know that a trees leaves act as a filter to clean up the ecosystem so it kinda made sense at the time.

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    Oh.....NO, Uncle Bill! Now we are going to have people on here trying to scrounge Pb from plants. Old car batteries was bad enough, but trying to re-melt an oak tree in the backyard because Grandpa cast boolits under it 80 years ago? I don’t think so, Tim!

    Pb is everwhere! It’s like the ground water here in Az has more As naturally in it than the LEGAL EPA limits!!!!!!! That is why Az is rich in many metals and minerals. (Just don’t drink the water! HA......ha!) Or eat the trees/flowers/plants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG67 View Post
    Plants draw water from the soil which means they draw in whatever is in that water.
    Pure lead is much less soluble than lead oxide-the white stuff. How fast lead oxidizes depends on the size of the particles, the temperature and what other environmental factors apply-alkaline or acidic enviorenment etc.
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    Plants pull all sorts of metals from the soil, and their lead levels can be quite a bit higher than in the water or soil they inhabit. It’s called bioconcentration and it’s a known problem.
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    Boolit Master
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    phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and sodium are metals. the human animal needs adequate amounts of all of them for neurological and muscular funcition, and many other metals as well. most of the metals we take in come from plant based food, or animal based food that is grown by use of plant based food.

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    Boolit Man fivefang's Avatar
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    justashooter, I like Salsa, & I use a lot of Cilantro in it, from what I have read, Cilantro has the ability to remove heavy metals from our body's, but I have not read about any 100% proof of it's power to do so, I hope to find out more about it, Fivefang

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    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    plants pull most of their nutrients from the soil, so if its in the ground, it is likely to end up in the plants.

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    Thanks for all the replies, I knew that plants would absorb nutrients from the soil/water...but had never heard specifically about Pb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fivefang View Post
    justashooter, I like Salsa, & I use a lot of Cilantro in it, from what I have read, Cilantro has the ability to remove heavy metals from our body's, but I have not read about any 100% proof of it's power to do so, I hope to find out more about it, Fivefang
    Fivefang,
    I read several articles about taking high quantities of Vit. C to lower blood lead levels. A high quantity of Vit. C is suppose to 'flush' your system of many different things. I was talking to my doctor a few years ago and mentioned that I took Vit C supplements, I don't recall if it was 1K or 2k...but I do know it was less than 5K a day. Anyway, he told me to be careful, it may be "flushing" my Hyper-tension medication out of my system at the same time...I take 3 different BP meds, So I quit the daily "High" vit C regiment.

    ANYWAY, Google says that 100 grams of Cilantro has 27mg of Vit C, and as always, natural Vitamins work more efficiently than Supplements. Oh, and many other traditional ingredients in Salsa contain Vit. C.

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    Boolit Master
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    Yes, plants can absorb heavy metals. However, Greger is way off the mark in ascribing lead pollution in China to coal fired power plants. While in decades past, older unscrubbed (ie not equipped with filtration equipment) coal fired power plants in China did release large amount of Mercury into the atmosphere, his suggestion that they were major emitters of lead is completely off the mark. Not only are lead emissions from coal combustion extremely low, but the culprit for lead emissions in China is almost entirely gasoline.

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    if it was a real problem generations of people living and farming Civil War battle sites would be affected.
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    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Anything that can dissolve in water can be taken up by plants. When I was in the environmental field (don't judge me) I went to a seminar on use of plants for environmental cleanup purposes. The speaker told us about a tree in, I think, New Guinea that preferentially took up nickel from the soil. The wood had a high percentage of nickel by weight; kind of like ore.

    One of the approved methods for dealing with lead contaminated soil around a home is to grow grass on it, and throw away the clippings.

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    Boolit Master
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    Nowadays science has the ability to measure in minute amounts beyond what is relevant in the real world but wonderful for getting grants and creating hysteria. Both lead and mercury fall into this category. In the Seattle area, there has been great hysteria about mercury coming from the rivers but there are cinnabar (a form of mercury) outcrops in the upper rivers so the metal has been native for eons. The natural mercury never gets mentioned, only Boeing Aircraft Company along the river.

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    Every mineral we deal with was always a part of the earth. Man may move and concentrate or dilute it, but man never originated any thing but ideas. The earth has ways of redistributing our mistakes just as it has for eons. In my opinion, the well meaning do goobers and nay Sayers are only creating hysteria in order to access their 15 min of fame. It goes without saying, we need to be good stewards of the gifts God provided.
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