Residual Pesticides

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by dannyboy, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Hello folks, I've just received the results back for soil contaminant tests for a property we are proposing to buy. We've got back the results on the pesticides and it's not a clean bill of health unfortunately. DDE was detected at a rate of 0.0027mg/kg or 27 parts per billion. AMAL Analytical test down to 0.005mg/kg which I believe (though I'll have to check) is the maximum permitted for organic standards. AMAL say it is a very small amount but I guess I need some perspective here.

    I plan to have chooks, ducks, sheep and goats which all eat dirt amongst other things and we plan to consume their products. I've read all about what horible stuff it is and the effects of bio-accumulation but is the amount detected likely to be problematic? Any one with knowledge in this area I would love to hear from...

    Also what do people know about soil remediation? I just found a wiki on phytoremediation which I'll have to read thoroughly but if people know of any examples of repairing the soil from contamination I would be interested.

    It would be easy to say 'nah don't buy it' and go buy some virgin soils somewhere else but as a permie I feel as though I'm here to repair. However I don't wish to put the health of my family or myself at risk in the process. The property has a lot going for it in my opinion (good soil structure, good soil balance lab test results, great location, good size and so on) and it would be a real shame to give it up at this stage of the buying process. At the same time we also have a chance to exit if that is right decision.
    I look forward to your reply

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    DDE (the "breakdown" version of DDT) is an incredibly persistent chemical with a very long half life.
    I don't know of any easy way of getting rid of it. It bio-accumulates in fatty tissues.
    How does this compare with other soil samples in your State?
    How does it compare with levels in us, and polar Bears?
     
  3. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Hi MA, I'm not too sure about how it compares currently, I will find out. I found this article interesting. What's been occupying me right now is the results from the heavy metals test. High levels of arsenic have been found - 34mg/kg. I've learnt that elevated levels of arsenic are common in goldfields areas and are found in mine tailings as leftovers from obtaining the gold.
    The lab said that at above 20mg/kg in Melbourne the EPA considers the area contaminated and the soil must be removed or remediated. However apparently the rules are different in goldfields areas due to the high amounts of naturally occuring arsenic. That doesn't make it any safer though and the EPA has a pamphlet for those living in goldfields areas.
    I'll be speaking to the EPA monday to find out if the levels are a problem as regards to plant and animal uptake, ponds etc but I gotta say I'm a bit concerned. On the other hand Victoria's goldfields are highly populated areas with plenty of permies so it'd be great to hear from how they get on. Any thoughts folks?
    Dan
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Not sure that arsenic is as big a problem as the chlorinated hydrocarbons and organo-phosphates. Plants can deal with arsenic. In fact some like it.
    I think we would all be shocked if we tested ouselves and our immediate evironment for the alphabet soup (DDE, DDT, Dieldrine Toxiphene, Agent orange etc) residual poisons. You may not be able to get away from them. For example, Sydney Harbor is full of Agent Orange, that is why fishing is now banned there.
    Arsenic and plants
    https://lqma.ifas.ufl.edu/PUBLICATION/Ma-01a.pdf
    https://www.springerlink.com/content/x5nk5kq41m74g1v2/#section=83276&page=1
    https://www.iechs.org/staff/Andrews...s for tolerance and remediation by plants.pdf
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien...49d8430e937166af0a1d3cf8af07e499&searchtype=a
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    does agent orange equal dioxins? I thought sydney harbour had a problem with dioxins. I never heard anyone mention agent orange before.
     
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Love your work MA! I've yet to read all the info but the first one was a ripper! Brake fern the HYPERaccumulatorrrrr!

    As far as contaminants go there are a few techniques I've found out from the internet and friends such as bioremediation and the harsher method of repeated rotary hoeing the soil on sunny days thus exposing the DDE to UV rays which quickly breaks down the pollutant and unfortunately the soil structure and biology. There is a high level of iron in the soil too which apparently locks up the arsenic to some extent.

    One way or another I reckon we can sort out any problems. As you point out MA, most of us are/have been subject to all matter of poisons in our lives.

    So after much research, worrying, thinking, discussion, weighing up and so on over the last month or so.... we've taken the plunge and bought the land. We believe it's got so much going for it and will be the perfect place to raise our little family in the low impact lifestyle we are aiming to live. We get the keys to the paddock just after Easter!
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I doubt if anything 'quickly breaks down' DDT/DDE.
    At best, they maybe just spread around the planet a bit more and you have a smiggin less on your patch of the planet.
    So sad that it is still being used, most people think it has been banned.
     
  8. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Would the shrooms clean up the area as is being suggested in the other post "Paul Stamets: Fungi to the rescue in Japan!"?
     
  9. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    This is one of the reason I refuse to eat fish. DDT & DDE (which have once again been approved for use in 3rd world countries suddenly) go into the water table and into the fish, and then into us. I was warned about this by many marine biology teachers in the 70's & 80's.
     
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    MA I may have been a bit optimistic there. However with volitization and precipitation we can all share in the delights of organochlorides. Lots more info here on DDT and its primary metabolites. None too pleasant.

    Purecajn, I hope so. Fungus Pleurotus pulmonarius shows promise. I'm gunna have to get hold of Paul Stamets's book.
     

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