2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 11:53:00 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] TECHNOLOGY: Phytoremediation at Brookhaven Lab (NY)
Brookhaven lab turns to trees to take out toxins

Long Island Newsday (NY)
August 26, 2009

Inside a greenhouse at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a potential remedy for pollution from Long Island's industrial and military past grows in orderly rows.

Slender hybrid poplars planted earlier this year by Lee Newman, an associate biochemist at the lab, now stand at eye level. Bred to grow fast and thirsty, they can suck up groundwater fouled with industrial solvents and then break the toxins down inside the plant tissue.

The approach is called phytoremediation: using plants to contain, remove or destroy toxins. It's been used to help clean sites tainted by dry-cleaning fluid, heavy metals and gasoline - all common pollutants across Long Island.

From trees to vegetables and even ferns, different plants are used to address different environmental pollutants. And they do it "naturally," Newman said, "without having to resort to excavation and incineration of the contaminated material."


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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