|MadSci Network: Botany|
Lead from the air should simply be deposited on external plant surfaces and not absorbed. Lead is not considered an essential element for plants. Lead also can get into soil and sometimes is absorbed depending on the plant species, soil conditions, amount of lead, etc. Lead often becomes unavailable for plant uptake. Some plant species may absorb lead but just retain it in their roots and not move it into the shoots. Other can move it into leaves. Rarely does lead get translocated into fruits. Certain species of plants do accumulate large amounts of lead and are used in phytoremediation of lead contaminated soils. Any soil left on harvested parts can also potentially be ingested if the parts are not washed thoroughly before eating. Lead can cause brain damage and lowered intelligence in young children, who often ingest lead from paint in the United States. Children are advised not to play on soil with high lead levels because they usually ingest some soil. There are lots of symptoms for lead poisoning in people including headaches, vomiting, irritability, etc. There are many websites with additional details. Google search for lead poisoning symptoms References Phytoremediation of lead Frequently asked questions about lead contamination Lead in the Home Garden and Urban Soil Environment
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