[permaculture] Study about lead in gardens (III)

Marimike6 at cs.com Marimike6 at cs.com
Thu Dec 11 12:08:47 EST 2003


In a message dated 12/11/2003 8:58:12 AM Eastern Standard Time, dtv at mwt.net 
writes: 
> 
>   "You'd have thought that lead levels that are so toxic to humans would 
> stunt the growth of plants," Gray says. "But they don't." Indeed, in 
> many of the most contaminated gardens, plant growth was lush.

Plants don't have nervous systems. Lead doesn't stunt our growth either, 
except for nervous tissue-- particularly in developing children (under age seven). 
It mimics sugar, and is taken up in the body the same way as sugar, crossing 
(I believe) the blood-brain barrier to mess up the energy-producing machinery. 
It even tastes sweet.

Mercury is another concern. The mercury that taints fish is rained down from 
the atmosphere. Coal-fired generating plants are responsible for most of it-- 
these are the plants Mr Bush felt compassionate for, and recently exempted 
from meaningful mercury controls. However this metal concentrates in carnivores 
like fish, and is more dilute just as it is deposited in the soil. At the top 
of the food chain, fish like tuna and bluefish have the greatest 
concentration-- I expect bass would also. I like to think this is what gives blues their 
'tangy' flavor.

Mike Elvin
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