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Halloween Cheer: Pumpkins Suck Up Pesticides from the Soil

From: <www.grist.org> Grist Magazine 10/28/04


NOW THAT'S A GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN
Pumpkins found to absorb pesticides from soil


Pumpkins are not only good for jack-o'-lanterns, pie, and carrying
Cinderella home -- they are also extremely effective at drawing
persistent organic pollutants like the toxic pesticide DDT out of
soil, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. They tested
rye grass, tall fescue, alfalfa, zucchini, and pumpkins, but the
oddly Halloween-specific orange gourd won by a large margin. While
the Canucks acknowledged that phytoremediation -- the use of plants
to clean contaminated sites -- will never fully replace more
high-tech methods, they suggest that it offers a "green solution"
that may work well in communities and countries where such technology
is not available. Obviously, DDT-ridden pumpkins would not be used
for pies or jack-o'-lanterns (unless some sicko just wasn't satisfied
with razors in apples). Rather, they would be buried or incinerated.


straight to the source: The Kitsap Sun, Lee Bowman, 22 Oct 2004
<http://grist.org/cgi-bin/forward.pl?forward_id=3447>