We have a responsibility to provide for at least 7 generations ahead. Phytoremediation is a tool we can use to achieve that goal.

How do we know that phytoremediation works to help us heal our environmental crisis? Below are some links, videos, books and experts  on phytoremediation as a tool to solve many pollution problems,  CO2 induced climate change,  nuclear plants and waste, oil, lead, heavy metals and many more.

1. Phytoremediation: Using Plants to Clean Soil

“In 1998, Phytotech, along with Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP) and the Ukraine’s Institute of Bast Crops, planted industrial hemp, Cannabis sp., for the purpose of removing contaminants near the Chernobyl site. Cannabis is in the Cannabidaceae family and is valuable for its fiber, which is used in ropes and other products. This industrial variety of hemp, incidentally, has only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that produces the “high” in a plant of the same genus commonly known as marijuana.”

2. Phytoremediation with hemp 

“Hemp and cesium accumulation • A study done in 2005 by Vandenhove and He’s tested hemp’s ability to uptake of radiocesium. – Sandy soils used to emulate Chernobyl conditions – Used a lysimeter and pots in greenhouse. • Soil was contaminated with approx. 326 kBq/kg in pots and 13.0 kBq/kg in the lysimeter and harvested after 186/136 days. • Chernobyl accident was contaminated at 1480 kBq/m^2”

“Hemp Cleans is currently supporting research into development of cultivars which will be ideally suited to Colorado’s climate. The seed stock developed as a result of this research will be used for the purposes of expanding the phytoremediation pilot project to include evaluations of cultivation in fire-scorched alpine soils and saline agricultural environments.”

4. Industrial Hemp for Bioremediation

“Overall, phytoremediation has great potential for cleaning up toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, gasoline, and explosives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 30,000 sites in the United States alone require hazardous waste treatment. Restoring these areas and their soil, as well as disposing of the wastes, are costly projects, but the costs are expected to be reduced drastically if plants provide the phytoremediation results everyone is hoping for.”

5. Hemp Phytoremediation Program Can Help With Gulf Oil Spill Crisis

“We all know that hemp was helpful in cleaning up the toxins around Chernobyl, and with a bit of planning by a mastermind alliance, can be used to clean up the environmental mess again.

An immediate end to hemp prohibition will allow us to use this biomass champion in a hemp phytoremediation program.

“Phytoremediation can be defined as the decontamination of soil, sediment or water using plant growth. Industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa L., is renowned for its ability to grow rapidly. In one growing season, fibre hemp can yield 250 to 400 plants per square metre, with each plant reaching up to 5 metres in height. As a result, hemp has been identified as a plant with the potential to serve as a phytoremediator.”

The same way hemp was used to clean up the toxins around Chernobyl, we should be using hemp to clean up the toxins from the Gulf of Mexico “oil spill” (more like a volcano) and other environmental crisis situations.

The McGraw-Hill Companies reported in 2000 “Overall, phytoremediation has great potential for cleaning up toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, gasoline, and explosives.”

6. A Citizen’s Guide To Phytoremediation

“Why Use Phytoremediation? EPA uses phytoremediation for many reasons. It takes advantage of natural plant processes and requires less equipment and labor than other methods since plants do most of the work. Also, the site can be cleaned up without digging up and hauling soil or pumping groundwater, which saves energy. Trees and smaller plants used in phytoremediation help control soil erosion, make a site more attractive, reduce noise, and improve surrounding air quality. Phytoremediation has been successfully used at many sites, including at least 10 Superfund sites across the country”

7. Here’s a study guide (proposed structure for conference topics) for the Hemp For Victory: A Global Warming Solution

A book by the late, great hemp activist Richard M. Davis – free pdf on this link above as well as hard copy for purchase.

“In the late 1990s industrial hemp was tested at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine to help heal the soil. Because of the quick rate in which it grows, up to 250 to 400 plants (15t in height) per square meter, industrial hemp showed it could clean the land of contaminated pollutants like sewer sludge, fly ash, and other metals. In 1989, three years after the explosion, the Soviet government asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to assess the radiological and health situation in the area around the power plant. Toxic metals and radioactive emissions were contaminating the dirt, plants, and animals. Iodine, cesium-137, strontium, and plutonium were among some of the harmful toxins infesting nearly everything in the surrounding area.
A soil cleanup method was proposed using green plants to remove the toxins from the soil in a technique called phytoremediation. This was the term created by Dr. Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University. He was one of the original members of the team who was asked to examine food safety at the Chernobyl site. Phytoremediation is a process that takes advantage of the fact that green plants can extract and concentrate certain elements within their ecosystem. Some plants can grow in metal-laden soils, extract certain metals through their roots, and accumulate them in their tissues without being damaged. In this way, pollutants are either removed from the soil and groundwater or rendered harmless. This complex filtering system would prove to be effective in sucking out pollutants and leaving only the natural, fresh, soil. Much like a maggot might be used to clean a wound.
There are a handful of scientists, researchers, and companies funding efforts to test the different varieties of plants that can be used in this process to clean polluted soils, and make no mistake, industrial hemp is at the forefront.”

9. Hemp and the Decontamination of Radioactive Soil 

“As a proven, valuable tool in the fight to repair human-inflicted damage to our soils and ecosystems, hemp could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of sites across the globe—it is estimated that in the USA alone there are 30,000 sites requiring remediation. As is so often the case, US restrictions on hemp cultivation preclude any large-scale operations from being implemented, and the contaminated sites are largely left unremediated, through lack of both funding and interest on the part of the government.”

10. Phytoremediation

[ The above link is down post Donald destroy the EPA Trump – here’s the page of phytoremediation papers as a result of a general search – http://www.usgs.gov/search/node/phytoremediation ]

Though not hemp specific it’s USGS take on phytoremediation

“Phytoremediation – “Phytoremediation uses plants to clean up pollution in the environment. Plants can help clean up many kinds of pollution including metals, pesticides, explosives, and oil. The plants also help prevent wind, rain, and groundwater from carrying pollution away from sites to other areas. Phytoremediation works best at sites with low to medium amounts of pollution. Plants remove harmful chemicals from the ground when their roots take in water and nutrients from polluted soil, streams, and groundwater … Once inside the plant, chemicals can be stored in the roots, stems, or leaves; changed into less harmful chemicals within the plant; or changed into gases that are released into the air as the plant transpires (breathes).” – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2001″

Abstract: “Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) was used to examine its capability as a renewable resource to decontaminate heavy metal polluted soils. The influence of heavy metals on the fibre quality was of special interest. Determination of heavy metal content was carried out by means of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Four different parts of the plant were examined: seeds, leaves, fibres and hurds. In each case, the concentration relation was Ni and Pb and Cd [ Notation: Ni – Nickel greater than Pb  – Lead, greater than Cd – Cadmium]. However, the heavy metal accumulation in the different parts of the plant was extremely different. All parts of hemp plants contain heavy metals and this is why their use as a commercially utilisable plant material is limited.
We found that the highest concentrations of all examined metals were accumulated in the leaves. In this field trial, hemp showed a phytoremediation potential of 126 g Cd (ha vegetation period)−1. We tested the fibre quality by measuring the pure fibre content of the stems and the fibre properties after mechanical separation. In addition, the fibre fineness was examined using airflow systems and image analysis. The strength was measured by testing single fibre bundles with a free clamping distance of 3.2 mm using a universal testing device. Finally, we compared the results from the stems and fibres from trials on heavy metal polluted ground with hemp stems and fibres from non-polluted ground. Since there was no comparable unpolluted area near the polluted one, reference values were taken from an area quite far away and subsequently with a different soil composition and also exposure to different meteorological conditions. Thus, the observed differences are only partially caused by the heavy metal contamination.”

12. Phytoremediation: An Environmentally Sound Technology for Pollution Prevention, Control and Redmediation – An IntroductoryGuide To Decision-Makers

We’re talking hemp, thistle, sunflowers and the ever powerful mushrooms, etc. to demonstrate how phytoremediation works, in this page in the context of absorbing heavy metals from the soil.

“The Use of Phytoremediation for Hydraulic Control of Contaminants

Plants can act as hydraulic pumps when their roots reach down toward the water table and establish a dense root mass that takes up large quantities of water. Poplar trees, for example, can transpire between 50 and 300 gallons of water per day out of the ground. The water consumption by the plants decreases the tendency of surface contaminants to move towards groundwater and into drinking water. The use of plants to rapidly uptake large volumes of water to contain or control the migration of subsurface water is known as hydraulic control. There are several applications that use plants for this purpose, such as riparian corridors/buffer strips and vegetative caps.”

13. The Use of Plants for the Removal of Toxic Metals from Contaminated Soil

“For Pb [lead], a major soil contaminant, no hyperaccumulator species has been identified. However, several species, such as hemp dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), nodding thistle (Carduus nutans), and Asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis), were shown to have superior Pb accumulating properties (Berti and Cunningham, 1993). Practices have been developed to increase the potential of common nonaccumulator plants for Pb phytoextraction. Particularly, the uptake-inducing properties of synthetic chelates open the possibility of using high biomass producing crops for Pb phytoextraction. Under chelate-induced conditions, maize (Huang and Cunningham, 1996) and Indian mustard (Blaylock et al., 1997) have been successfully used to remove Pb from solution culture and contaminated soil, respectively. Physical characteristics of soil contamination are also important for the selection of remediating plants. For example, for the remediation of surface-contaminated soils, shallow rooted species would be appropriate to use, whereas deep-rooted plants would be the choice for more profound contamination. ”

14. Phytoremediation Potential of Hemp (Cannabis sativaL.): Identification and Characterization of Heavy Metals Responsive Genes 

“Soil pollution caused by heavy metals is one of the major problems throughout the world. To maintain a safe and healthy environment for human beings, there is a dire need to identify hyperaccumulator plants and the underlying genes involved in heavy metals stress tolerance and accumulation. The goal of this research is to explore the potential of hemp as a decontaminator of heavy metals by identifying the two important heavy metals responsive genes, glutathione-disulfidereductase (GSR) and phospholipase D-α (PLDα).

The results revealed heavy metals accumulation; Cu (1530 mg kg−1), Cd (151 mg kg−1), and Ni (123 mg kg−1) in hemp plants’ leaves collected from the contaminated site. This shows the ability of the hemp plant to tolerate heavy metals, perhaps due to the presence of stress tolerance genes. In this study, partial sequences of putative GSR (215 bp) and PLDα (517 bp) genes were identified, responsive to heavy metals stress in hemp leaves. Both genes exhibited 40–60% sequence identity to previously reported genes from other plant species. Glutathione binding residues and conserved arginine residues were found identical in a putative GSR gene to those of other plant species, while the phospholipids binding domain and catalytic domain were found in the PLDα gene.

These results will help to improve our understanding about the phytoremediation potential of hemp as well as in manipulating GSR and PLDα genes in breeding programs to produce transgenic heavy-metals-tolerant varieties.”

15. Evaluation of The Phytoremediation Potential of Industrial Hemp

“Industrial hemp cultivars, Zolo-11, USO-31 and Zolo-15, were tested for their ability to accumulate U and Pb in the above-ground biomass. Plants were grown in soils with an average content of U 336_1 mg/kg (OH), Pb 911_53 mg/kg (NJ), or Pb 571_86 mg/ (farm soil). Results demonstrated that hemp is potentially a good phytoremediation crop. This fast growing, high biomass crop grew normally in the Pb- or U-contaminated soil. Industrial hemp responded positively to Phytotech’s amendments and accumulated up to 5,447 mg/kg Pb and up to 560 mg/kg U from the soils that contained just 571 mg/kg Pb and 336 mg/kg U respectively. Cultivars of industrial hemp significantly differ in the ability to accumulate Pb and U, hence extensive screening may produce cultivars with better phytoremediation capacity.”

16. Hemp for Income, Jobs, and Soil Remediation of Nuclear Waste in Bridgeton Missouri and the Cold Water Creek area of the St.Louis Region

“Radiation Levels of the Bridgeton landfill will be controllable under certain circumstances as it relates to surface and subsurface soil properties.

Specifically the surface of the existing soil to a depth of 8 feet. This is also the area and depth of the soil contaminates that are causing all the health issues associated with nuclear waste that are plaguing the residents of the Bridgeton and Cold Water Creek region.”

17. International Journal of Phytoremediation (list of their articles – networking) 

“Daniel (Niels) van der Lelie, PhD, microbial ecology pioneer, is the senior director of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology at RTI International. Before joining RTI, van der Lelie spent nine years at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he researched the development of new genomic tools to study the functioning of microorganisms and apply those findings to real-world problems such as pollution cleanup, biofuels as alternative energy, and the interactions between plants and their associated microorganisms.
Prior to Brookhaven, he worked as a research scientist at Transgène (Strasbourg), the Study Center for Nuclear Energy, and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. Van der Lelie has written more than 130 publications and lectured nationally and internationally. He serves on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Phytoremediation and Microbial Biotechnology, and is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Society for Industrial Microbiology, and International Phytotechnology Society.”

18. Phytoremediation and Fracking 

“Safety Recommendations • Longer vertical steel casing • Complete cement bond between casing and well along entire well depth • Proper encasement for the storage/disposal of drilling waste, flow-back fluids and produced water • Treatment for soil and ground water at polluted sites – Phytoremediation and bioremediation of organic pollutants – Modeling movement in groundwater • Establish federal and world law regarding the safe practices for the use of fracking • Disclosure of fracking fluid”

19. Phytoremediation (good one page flyer) 

“REMEDIATION Once the land has been prepared for planting a wider variety of remediation plants may be grown to deal with the contamination. Various different processes occur within the plants to deal with the contaminants, and specific plants must be selected to appropriately deal with the various types of contamination.

Hemp’s a highly versatile crop which may be used in the phytoremediation process. The plants are not affected by pests so no pesticides are required, and they grow extremely fast smothering any competing weeds. In addition to the employment generated during the remediation process the hemp may also be harvested and used to generate new long term industries. The fibre yielded may be used for textiles, paper or as a low embodied energy building material and therefore employment opportunities can be created in the production, processing and manufacture of hemp based products such as housing, clothing and paper. The spin-off industries created should become economically sustainable helping to regenerate the wider area. Hemp branded products may command a premium using eco-friendly marketing to inflate their value and therefore ensure a position in the marketplace.”

20. Phytoextraction of Heavy Metals by Hemp during Anaerobic Sewage Sludge Management in the Non-Industrial Sites

Conclusions 1. The addition of anaerobic sewage sludge in high doses to pot experiments increased height one and a half and weight two-sevenfold of hemp. 2. At the conditions of heavy metals very low concentrations in the substratum, as at presented experiment the most heavy metals are [accumulated] in roots. The sorption of zinc and nickel at the greatest amount took place by root, copper at the greatest amount was accumulated in leaf. 3. The acquired results showed that it is advisable to dewater mesophilic anaerobic sewage sludge by fibrous hemp growing. The concentrations of Zn – 30 mg/dm3 , Cu – 5.6 mg/dm3 and Ni – 2.5 mg/dm3 mg/dm3 can be removed from soil-sludge substratum by fibrous hemp growing and did not cause a reduction of hemp height and weight.

21. Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site

“Abstract: Natural remediation is a general term that includes any technology or strategy that takes advantage of natural processes to restore a contaminated media to a condition that is protective of human health and the environment. Natural remediation techniques are often passive and minimally disruptive to the environment. They are generally implemented in conjunction with traditional remedial solutions for source control (i.e., capping, stabilization, removal, soil vapor extraction, etc.). Natural remediation techniques being employed at Savannah River Site (SRS) include enhanced bio-remediation, monitored natural attenuation, and phytoremediation.

Enhanced bio-remediation involves making nutrients available and conditions favorable for microbial growth. With proper precautions and feeding, the naturally existing microbes flourish and consume the contaminants. Case studies of enhanced bio-remediation include surface soils contaminated with PCBs and pesticides, and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) contamination in both the vadose zone and groundwater.

Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) has been selected as the preferred alternative for groundwater clean up at several SRS waste units. Successful implementation of MNA has been based on demonstration that sources have been controlled, groundwater modeling that indicates that plumes will not expand or reach surface water discharge points at levels that exceed regulatory limits, and continued monitoring.

Phytoremediation is being successfully implemented at one SRS waste unit and considered for others. Phytoremediation involves using plants and vegetation to uptake or break down contaminants in groundwater or soils. Case studies at SRS include managing groundwater plumes of tritium and VOCs with pine trees that are native to the area. Significant decreases in tritium discharge to a site stream have been realized in one phytoremediation project. Studies of other vegetation types, methods of application, and other target contaminants are underway.”

This information is only a selection of the material that needs to be studied of the many ways hemp can help us reverse pollution and it’s effect of climate change and other environmental impacts.

Check out this blog for more information on how and why we must implement the hemp solution. Thank you for reading and sharing this material.

This list originally appeared at Hemp Nayer

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