Study shows wastewater-irrigated crops absorb few chemicals

By on September 11, 2013

A study of crop irrigation using treated wastewater found that crops absorbed only small amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, according to recorded press conference from the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

“The levels that we saw in these crops were very, very low,” said Jay Gan, an environmental chemistry professor from the University of California Riverside. “Compared to medical doses, for example, they were very, very insignificant. “

Researchers in the project tested processed wastewater and chemical-spiked wastewater on root crops, leafy greens, stem vegetables and fruits. They found fruits absorbed the least amount of chemicals, while leafy greens absorbed the most.

Irrigation with wastewater may aid Western states struggling with water availability.

Image: Wheat field in Zambia (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

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