Outside Soil Contamination Gives Reason to Grow Indoors:
Utilizing grow lights indoors while growing in purchased potting soil may be safer than growing your vegetables in outside soil. Some soil samples across the U.S. taken from outside sources continue to show levels of pesticides that can contaminate your outdoor garden’s fruits and vegetables.
EPA Finds Arsenic and Lead in Soil:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. recently reported that contaminants associated with arsenic based pesticides used to kill mosquitos and other pests have been found in soil and groundwater in the area around Vineland, New Jersey. The EPA continues to take samples from around the area while investigating the contamination. Work is ongoing regarding a plan of remediation.
The EPA took soil samples in 2014 and again in 2015 in the area of Vineland and found elevated levels of arsenic and lead on both occasions. Additional sampling is scheduled for surrounding areas and residents in the area have been directed to wash vegetables thoroughly before eating.
Controversy and disagreement regarding the developments grows. The controversial aspect of this news story pertains to the suggestion that contaminated fruits and vegetables that were grown in soil with elevated levels of lead and arsenic be washed thoroughly prior to eating. Other remediation strategy includes placing three inches of clean soil and grass seeds on the affected properties until a permanent solution can be found. Residents in the area have also been advised to leave shoes outside to minimize the potential that contaminated dust and soil will enter the home. Many remain worried about the ill effects that may befall those that ingest foods grown in contaminated soil.
Negative effects of arsenic:
Arsenic in foods can be harmful. Arsenic is a chemical element present in the environment due, in part, to use of arsenic-containing pesticides. It can enter into foods via absorption from soil and water. Inorganic arsenic is can be poisonous to humans and large oral doses can be extremely detrimental. Less lethal doses can result in stomach irritation, intestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Exposure to arsenic can also alter your red and white blood cell production which can cause fatigue, blood vessel damage, impaired nerve functioning and an abnormal heart rhythm. The chemical can also negatively affect the skin and can cause warts and corns to develop in the soles of feet, palms of hands and on the torso area.