Absorption of arsenic by edible plants
caowens at redsuspenders.com
Wed Mar 22 17:49:40 EST 2000
"A. M. Hawk Widner" wrote:
> There are two schools of thought on that. One school declares that nothing
> edible should be planted near the wood at all, in fact it should not be used
> for anything at all. The other school is that it is probably relatively
> safe. One of this latter group actually posted in here once result of a
> series of tests done on soil samples taken from near a pt wood retaining
> wall, effectively demonstrating that the arsenic does not migrate far from
> the wood and probably poses no health hazard. This seems
> counter-intuitive; however, no one has yet posted actual test results
> refuting it.
> Do any of you chemists know what arsenic does when exposed to soil
> conditions? The above would make sense if arsenic decays into less toxic
> substances as it leaches from wood and comes in contact with soil and all
> that soil is.
Arsenic is a naturally-occuring metal. It is rarely found in it's pure
form; more typically as one of a variety of salts, most of which are
insoluble in water. The toxicity of the arsenic compound varies with
its valence; the pentavalent form found in PTW is one of the least
toxic. It is also highly insoluble; which is why it doesn't leach.
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