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Arsenic in Soils

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  • Arsenic in Soils

    Does anyone know if there are high or dangerous levels of Arsenic in vegetables grown in the Homer area? I know that some places in Homer have high levels of arsenic in the water, does this arsenic get into the leaves and fruit of produce and cause adverse health effects?

    thanks....
    Last edited by Jaymac; 02-26-2009, 19:26. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    I think high levels of arsenic can make their way into your plants, but I doubt that your area would be that bad unless it was once a dump of some kind.

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    • #3
      Only one way to know...have it tested. I've used a test called "Quicktest" for water, but I noticed the instructions also include a section for testing soil. I don't know specifically about Homer, but I can tell you that Arsenic is fairly problematic in th Soldotna/Kenai area. I've read some levels [in ground-water] have been tested well over 100ppb in the area.

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      • #4
        I don't know that soil tests alone will give you the answer. I believe that different plants uptake arsenic and other metals more than other types of plants. Maybe there's an agricultural extension or similar that you can call with your question.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skydiver View Post
          I don't know that soil tests alone will give you the answer. I believe that different plants uptake arsenic and other metals more than other types of plants. Maybe there's an agricultural extension or similar that you can call with your question.
          While I agree completely. I wouldn't feel comfortable eating any crops that were grown in soil with known high levels of As. If intermediate or low levels existed I would inclined to look into uptake for specific crops of personal interest.

          Here is a link that briefly summarizes some research in this area:

          http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/wc2006...ram/P17847.HTM

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          • #6
            Link

            Porter,
            Thanks for the link. I found other sites that pointed in this direction as well. In China and India there are places where arsenic gets into rice making it deadly. I wasn't sure about other crops but this link you provided nails it down for me: Forget about gardening in high arsenic areas!

            Much of anchorage and a large part of the Kenai have high levels of arsenic. I was close to buying a house in Homer when I found this out. For me, no garden = no life - so I'll look elsewhere.

            Jay

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            • #7
              The benefits...

              Down here in Washington, I worked on a new Wal-Mart building, and it was built on an old orchard.In the old day, guys wearing shorts would walk around the orchard spraying arsenic and think nothing of it.We had to wear protective clothing while working around any excavation over 2' deep.Feeding your crops to animals may be a benefit though as your chickens may have four legs and beef may have four hind quarters..

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