Translation of soil chemistry to improve human health

Newswise – October 23, 2020 – Contaminated soil – with heavy metals or petrochemicals – is harmful to human health. And children are 2-3 times more susceptible to the effects of contamination than adults. Translation of soil chemistry to improve human healthis a symposium in Putting visionary science into practice ASA, CSSA, SSSA International annual meeting. The virtual meeting will be hosted November 9-13, 2020 by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America. Media are invited; Advance booking required.

The presentations are:

  1. “Soil Health and Justice” presented by Monica D. Ramirez-Andreotta, University of Arizona. Environmental exposures to contaminants such as arsenic, cadmium and lead play a major role in the disproportionate burden of disease in certain communities. Ramirez-Andreotta will talk about Gardenroots, A citizen science program that started in 2010 and ran in nine communities. Children are sensitive and have two to three times more air and calorie intake than adults of these contaminants. They are also subject to faster and more complex development of the body system, making them more susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental toxins. Co-generated data on environmental monitoring and exposure assessment are presented to highlight the need for comprehensive, site-specific exposure assessments for uptake (from locally grown food, soil, water, dust) and inhalation. Efforts to improve the risk assessment process, such as B. gastric and pulmonary fluid tests to assess bioavailability and how socio-economic / cultural factors influence consumption patterns are discussed.
  2. “Understanding soil chemistry to limit contaminants in food” presented by Angelia L. Seyfferth, University of Delaware. Soil chemistry has a major influence on the pollutant mobility in soils and sediments. When arsenic is present in saturated soils, it can be more mobile in plants, especially when additional organics are added. This is the case with flooded rice fields, where arsenic can be absorbed by rice roots and stored in the grain. There it can affect human health. In addition to rice, the arsenic content is also high in edible mushrooms. Seyfferth will examine the behavior of pollutants in soils and sediments using the example of rice and mushrooms and discuss how sustainable soil changes affect the uptake and localization of pollutants in food.
  3. “Translation of Soil Chemistry to Reduce Pollutant Exposure and Protect Public Health” presented by Nicholas T. Basta, Ohio State University. Research efforts in soil chemistry have led to the application of novel methods to assess the bioavailability of pollutants and to the development of chemical soil treatments to reduce exposure to pollutants. In situ remediation based on bioavailability, based on soil chemical reactions that reduce bioavailability, is now a preferred remediation strategy for contaminated soil. This presentation will focus on key soil and environmental chemistry considerations ranging from basic soil chemical reactions to assessment methods required for in situ remediation. The ongoing translation of soil chemistry into the development of gentle remediation and remediation measures for environmentally friendly infrastructures as well as scientifically sound bioavailability concepts in framework conditions for human and ecological risks is presented.
  4. Improving human nutrition by manipulating the nutrient response pathways in soils, ”Presented by Ganga Hettiarachchi, Kansas State University. The lack of food production and the nutritional value of food continue to adversely affect human health. Research has shown that the correct selection of fertilizers and appropriate crop management methods aimed at manipulating chemical reactions in the soil pave the way for successful agronomic biofortification. Other tactics include spotting soil restrictions that are limiting plant growth and spotting soil reactions that limit the availability of nutrients from the soil. Developing sound science-based solutions to reduce constraints will help produce more affordable and nutritious foods while reducing the overuse of fertilizers, which has a negative impact on the quality of the environment.

Presentations can be viewed asynchronously, and there is scheduled question and answer time to speak to moderators during the meeting. The presentations can be viewed online for all registrants 90 days after the meeting. More information about the Putting visionary science into practice 2020 To meet, Visit

Media are invited to participate in the conference. Pre-registration is required by November 2, 2020. Visit for registration information.

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