Phytoremediation - United States Environmental Protection...

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United States Office of Solid Waste and EPA 542-F-01-002 Environmental Protection Emergency Response April 2001 Agency (5102G) A Citizen’s Guide to Phytoremediation What is phytoremediation? Phytoremediation uses plants to clean up pollution in the environment. Plants can help clean up many kinds of pollution including metals, pesticides, explosives, and oil. The plants also help prevent wind, rain, and groundwater from carrying pollution away from sites to other areas. How does it work? Phytoremediation works best at sites with low to medium amounts of pollution. Plants remove harmful chemicals from the ground when their roots take in water and nutrients from polluted soil, streams, and groundwater. Plants can clean up chemicals as deep as their roots can grow. Tree roots grow deeper than smaller plants, so they are used to reach pollution deeper in the ground. Once inside the plant, chemicals can be: • stored in the roots, stems, or leaves • changed into less harmful chemicals within the plant • changed into gases that are released into the air as the plant transpires (breathes). Phytoremediation can occur even if the chemicals are not taken into the plant by the roots.
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2010 for the course SOIL 479 taught by Professor Ulery during the Spring '10 term at NMSU.

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Phytoremediation - United States Environmental Protection...

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