Water samples collected from Baltimore’s farms and gardens contain low levels of lead, shows study – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland 2021-06-08 04:33:49 –

A new report investigating soil, water and produce in Baltimore’s urban farms and gardens found low levels of lead and other metals in most cultivated areas for no reason of concern.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Revable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 96% of soil samples and 95 of irrigation water samples were taken from participating farms and gardens. Found that% meets the criteria for metal pollutants.

Researchers say their findings should reassure producers that agriculture and gardening in Baltimore are generally safe.

Urban farms and gardens can benefit the community, but there are concerns about the potential for residual pollutants, including heavy metals such as lead and arsenic, which are harmful to human health, especially in industrial cities like Baltimore. I will.

To investigate potential metal exposures in Baltimore’s urban farms and community gardens, researchers at the Center for Livingable Future have joined the Baltimore Farm Alliance, the Parks & People Foundation, the Baltimore City Sustainability Office, and the University of Maryland. Cooperated with the Extended Baltimore City. Design and implement a “safe urban harvest study”.

Baltimore urban producers place great importance on community health and are often asked about the safety of urban soil and agricultural products grown in the city. The good news is that you can grow food safely in Baltimore. We hope this report will help farmers and gardeners make healthy choices about where and how to grow food in the city.

Rachel Santo, Master’s Degree, Principal Research Author and Senior Research Program Coordinator, CLF

For the study, researchers surveyed 104 farms and gardens in Baltimore during the growing season of 2017, learned how to grow gardeners, and sampled soil and irrigation water. They also collected fruits and vegetables from the 69 participating farms and gardens. Researchers tested soil, water, fruit, and vegetable samples for harmful metals such as arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, and nickel at the Johns Hopkins University and US Department of Agriculture laboratories.

Researchers emphasize that it is normal to encounter metals in daily life and that most soils, waters, and produce contain small amounts of these pollutants. They point out that there are currently no universal safety standards for metals in urban farm and garden soils and irrigation water, and in agricultural products. To interpret the results of metal contamination tests, the research team has developed a set of rigorous standards to protect public health.

When the research team found high levels of heavy metals on farms and gardens, they identified nearby sources of pollution and provided producers with specific guidance on how to safely farm and garden.

To evaluate metals in produce, the research team collected and tested 248 fruit and vegetable samples from farms and gardens in the cities of Baltimore, and 405 traditional from both grocery and farmer’s market vendors. We tested a comparative group of mold and USDA certified organic fruits and vegetables. In the tests, the levels of these pollutants in urban produce were the levels of the same items sold in grocery stores and farmers markets. Was shown to be similar to.

As a result, consumers can think that getting produce from farms and gardens in Baltimore is as safe as getting it from farmers markets and grocery stores. Researchers emphasize that eating fruits and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet, regardless of source.

The report’s findings also highlight the role of urban agriculture in Baltimore’s local food system. 104 survey farms and gardens occupy more than 24 acres of land, produce an estimated £ 93,000 of produce per growing season, and about 2% of the city’s population is regularly engaged.

For growers who are concerned about the location or soil safety, the report can be carried out by producers and consumers of agricultural products produced in urban environments to reduce exposure to metals. , Provides a simple and cost-effective procedure.

Along with the report, researchers developed a series of videos and other resources to share their findings and best practices for safe growth in urban soils. The results of this work are the Baltimore Sustainability Department’s Soil Safety Policy for Food Production, limiting test requirements to specific metals and conditions that have been found to be of greatest concern to Baltimore farms and gardens. It is also used to notify you of updates.

“The results of the Safe Urban Harvest Study and this report are encouraging for farmers, gardeners, and those who eat urban-grown food in Baltimore,” said the report’s co-author and livable future food center. Dr. Keep Nackman, director of the program, said. Associate Professor of Production and Public Health Programs and Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Bloomberg School. “We are grateful to our collaborators and the support of the Baltimore urban agriculture community at every stage of the research process. Our findings are unique to Baltimore, but the evidence provided by this study. And guidance is a safer and more vibrant urban food system. “

Water samples collected from Baltimore’s farms and gardens contain low levels of lead, shows study Source link Water samples collected from Baltimore’s farms and gardens contain low levels of lead, shows study

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