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Industry Changes, Environmental Impact and Other Manufacturing News

Are you curious about manufacturing? Do you wonder how things are made? Do you want to know about the environmental impact of the products you are buying? Are you in the manufacturing field? In that field, are you looking for ways to improve processes, profit margins, safety or other aspects of your business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then, you have find the right blog. This blog explores all aspects of manufacturing from a variety of angles. It may also delve into industrial topics that are related to manufacturing. I invite you to look around, and please feel free to share any posts that interest you.

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Industry Changes, Environmental Impact and Other Manufacturing News

4 Facts about Soil Testing that Residential Gardeners Must Know

by Dan Owens

One leading cause of environmental pollution in residential areas is soil contamination due to human factors, for instance, use of pesticides with hazardous materials like lead, arsenic, or mercury and oil leaks. For this reason, if a residential area was zoned for industrial purposes a few years back, then the soil should be tested for levels of contaminants. Most importantly, it is prudent for homeowners who wish to practice urban agriculture in their gardens to ascertain the degree of soil contamination before commencing such a project. Here are a few facts about soil testing that urban farmers must know.

Taking Samples -- Before sampling soil from your garden, ensure that the samples are representative of the entire garden or property. You can use a hand trowel to scoop soil samples from various parts of the compound and empty them into a sealable bag. Remove all the rocks and weeds from the soil sample before sending it to a soil-testing lab. At times, you might identify an area as a potential spot of contamination. In this instance, you can take a different soil sample from the area and send it along with the other samples for comparative analysis. 

Soil Test Results -- Lab results will detail the concentration of substances present in the sampled soil to help users decide if the land is viable for gardening. If the soil is high in particular pollutants such as arsenic or lead, then decontamination measures would need to be put in place before any planting can occur. For example, if the test indicates that the soil is rich in acidity, then chances are that it might contain heavy metals.

Measured Contaminants -- The lab results of soil indicate the unit of concentration of pollutants as parts per million (ppm).  The value shows that for every one million parts of soil, there is one part of the contaminant. High concentration of contaminants in the sampled soil might indicate potential risk to the environment and human health. For example, heavy metals such as lead and zinc are prevalent in most food chain because of absorption by plants and subsequent consumption by animals and people.

Decontamination -- After you receive lab results that indicate high amounts of contaminants, you should decontaminate the soil before you begin your gardening project. Different courses of treatment are prescribed depending on your budget. For, instance, you can excavate the garden soil and send it to a commercial lab for treatment. Alternatively, you can put the soil in a large plastic foil and subject it to a raft of treatments such as high temperature, soil washing, and be solidifying.    

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