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      From environmental data acquisition to assessment of gardeners' exposure: feedback in an urban context highly contaminated with metals.

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          Abstract

          Although growing vegetables in urban gardens has several benefits, some questions in relation with the safety of foods remain when the self-production is carried out on highly contaminated garden soils. To better assess the local population's exposure to Cd and Pb induced by the past activities of a lead smelter, a participatory program was initiated in 115 private kitchen gardens located in northern France to assist gardeners in understanding their soil environment. The challenge included contributing to the database of urban garden soils with the collection of a large number of samples: 1525 crops grouped into 12 types (leaf, fruiting, root, stem and bulbous vegetables, tubers, cabbages, leguminous plants, celeriac, fresh herbs, fruits, and berries), 708 topsoils, and 52 samples of self-produced compost. The main results were as follows: (i) topsoils were strongly contaminated by Cd and Pb compared to regional reference values; (ii) great variability in physicochemical parameters and metal concentrations in topsoils; (iii) the highest concentrations of Cd and Pb for celeriac and fresh herbs and the lowest for fruits and fruiting vegetables; (iv) a high percentage of vegetables that did not comply with the European foodstuff legislation; and (v) most self-produced compost samples were strongly contaminated. This study aimed to raise awareness and generate functional recommendations to reduce human exposure and to provide useful data that could be considered in other environmental contexts.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
          Environmental science and pollution research international
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1614-7499
          0944-1344
          Jul 2019
          : 26
          : 20
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Laboratoire Génie Civil et géo-Environnement (LGCgE), ISA Lille, Yncréa Hauts-de-France, 48 Boulevard Vauban, BP 41290, 59014, Lille Cedex, France. aurelie.pelfrene@yncrea.fr.
          [2 ] Laboratoire Génie Civil et géo-Environnement (LGCgE), ISA Lille, Yncréa Hauts-de-France, 48 Boulevard Vauban, BP 41290, 59014, Lille Cedex, France.
          Article
          10.1007/s11356-018-3468-y
          10.1007/s11356-018-3468-y
          30353433
          6a634359-c486-4bd9-a019-113f4410c977
          History

          Urban gardens,Soil-plant transfer,Soil metallic pollution,Self-produced compost,Homegrown produce,Exposure assessment

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