Industrial Metals Contaminate Vancouver Community Garden – Brownfield Sites

An eight-month study of Vancouver garden and agricultural soils has found levels of lead and other metals above the most stringent Canadian standards for human health.Samples taken from the 16 Oaks community garden averaged 219 parts per million of lead, which exceeds the standard of 70 to 140 ppm for agricultural, residential and park land set by the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers.Levels of lead — a potent neurotoxin — are five times higher than those measured at UBC Farm

Source: www.vancouversun.com

>” […] “These numbers are higher than is commonly acceptable for growing vegetables and food crops.”

Oka’s findings may call into question the City of Vancouver’s enthusiasm for urban agriculture.

“You want to be conservative. According to the precautionary principle, if you aren’t sure what you are dealing with, you have a moral and ethical responsibility to go slowly,” said Lavkulich. “We aren’t saying don’t grow food, but you want to be sure what the impacts are on human health before you start advocating for urban agriculture.”

The city encourages would-be gardeners to have their soil tested and, barring that, to grow vegetables in lined boxes with clean soil rather than in the native soil, said Coun. Andrea Reimer.

“This city has a long industrial history and they didn’t always have the environmental standards that we have today,” she said. […]”<

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