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Int J Phytoremediation. 2002;4(2):157-68.

Remediation of benzo[a]pyrene and chrysene-contaminated soil with industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa).

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Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering University of Hawaii, 1955 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.


The phytoremediation, with industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa), of a Hawaiian silty clay soil contaminated with two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene, was studied. Hemp showed a very high tolerance to the contaminants. The growth rates of hemp, compared with control, in soils fortified with chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene at concentrations of each varying from 25 to 200 micrograms/g were consistently above 100%. The plants grew from seed for 45 days in soil fortified with PAHs at concentrations of 25, 50, and 75 micrograms/g. Controls were pots with contaminated soil but no plant. PAHs levels were significantly reduced in all pots (control and seeded pots), expect for one set at a high concentration of chrysene, which may be due to uneven spiking. A time course study over 28 days was done to monitor changes of microbial count and levels of chrysene. Little changes were observed for the total microbial count in the soil, and the concentration of chrysene in the soil decreased slightly in the pots containing plants. However, the chrysene levels in those pots were consistently lower than those in the pots without plants.


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