heavy metals & mushrooms

allen lutins alleycat at pronetisp.net
Tue Sep 28 14:01:02 EST 1999


National Public Radio this morning had a story on elevated lead and
arsenic levels in the soil of a North Carolina residential
neighborhood.  The source of these contaminants was the prior
existence of an apple orchard on the site, to which lead arsenate had
been heavily applied for about 100 years.  The reporter mentioned that
such heavy applications of lead arsenate used to be common in such
orchards.

I am wondering if heavy metals such as lead and arsenic accumulate in
the fruiting bodies of mushrooms?  I heard warnings years ago to avoid
mushrooms growing in old cemeteries for precisely this reason (heavy
metals and other toxic substances were used in embalming fluids for
centuries).  This is of particular concern to us mycophagists, because
here in the northeast morels are commonly sought in old apple
orchards.

Replies based on knowledge, rather than speculation, would certainly
be preferred.  Thanks for your shared concern.

allen lutins
alleycat at pronetisp.net
www.nitehawk.com/alleycat

allen "alley cat" lutins - alleycat at pronetisp.net
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