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Do you think there is lead in my veggies?  RSS feed

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Location: Skåne, Sweden
bee chicken forest garden
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Hey permies,

A question which has been troubling me lately...Realized I could ask others what they think instead of let it get all weird and scary in my head.

Unfortunately, I live next to a main road. A road which has long been a main road. It is now a highway. As you all know, lead is no longer used as an additive in gasoline. (THANK YOU, Clair Cameron Patterson!!)
But since it was in gasoline for quite some time, and lead is lead for a really damn long time (we're talking over a hundred thousand years here), is it not strange to think that lead particles have flown about and landed on the soil in the garden? Plants take up both good and bad things. So, I guess that in the vegetables and berries we are eating here, we are also taking in some lead? (Yay!)

What do you think? It's fine if you just say 'yeah, probably!'. I prefer information over ignorance.
Posts: 134
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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Hi there.  In your shoes, I would send in a soil sample to have it analyzed for lead, and maybe other nasties.  But you asked about vegetables.  Some are more prone to taking up heavy metals than others, but darned if I can remember which.  Mushrooms are said to be heavy metal accumulators.
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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This article is informative without being too technical for easy understanding. https://www.soils.org/discover-soils/story/lead-contamination-garden-soils Lead absorbtion and accumulation in the plants seems to run in the order of roots, shoots (or leaves) and then fruits, with each type of produce tending to hold progressively less lead. It still recommends you get the soil tested. It also talks about planning your garden away from the house itself if it's an older home which may have had lead based paints in the past.
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