How plants absorb pollutants

The environmental concern is great when considering the role of toxic contaminants in the plant-soil relationship. Understanding plant's absorption and accumulation of these contaminants from the soil would be incredibly beneficial.

One highly carcinogenic contaminant commonly found in soil is called polycyclic . They are the byproduct of the incomplete combustion of coal, oil, gas, and garbage. These contaminants can also be manufactured; they can be found in certain dyes, plastics and pesticides. Since most the contaminants do not break down easily in water, they stick to solid particles in soils or settle at the bottom of waterways.

Scientific evidence associates prolonged to these contaminants with low birth weight, premature delivery, heart malformations, lower IQ and childhood . Long-term exposure of an adult can cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and skin.

In a study funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, scientists at Nanjing Agricultural University investigated the distribution of contaminants in the roots of ryegrass. Recent studies had indicated that contaminated fungi attached to the root of were responsible for the plant's uptake of toxic contaminants.

The study at Nanjing Agricultural University focused on the subcellular process and distribution of the contaminants in plants with attached to the roots. Using a contaminant called acenaphthene, scientists determined that contaminants were absorbed and dispersed into the plants cells.

Yanzheng Gao, who conducted the study, said research is ongoing at Nanjing Agricultural University to examine other persistent organic pollutants, their risk, and their transportation.


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More information: Results from the study are published in the March-April 2011 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.
Provided by American Society of Agronomy
Citation: How plants absorb pollutants (2011, March 29) retrieved 19 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-absorb-pollutants.html
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Mar 29, 2011
They are the byproduct of the incomplete combustion of coal, oil, gas, and garbage


Biomass and fuel from biomass also produce these. If you are really concerned about it, then you better stay away from BBQ or Burgerking too, because cooked foods, especially grilled foods, are also very high in PAH's.

Check out the wiki page on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These people are only telling you half the story. This sounds a little bit like the prank about dihydrogen oxide pollution, since most Americans eat this stuff several times a week. hahaha. People are fools.

and this is from the second paragraph in wiki:

They are also found in the interstellar medium, in comets, and in meteorites and are a candidate molecule to act as a basis for the earliest forms of life. In graphene the PAH motif is extended to large 2D sheets


Also note that not all PAH's are toxic. The EPA has labeled 7 of them as toxic.

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