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Urban Gardens and Human Health

(Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) Urban agriculture is a socioeconomic growing movement worldwide that promotes a sustainable model of agricultural production, urban development and food safety. Diverse studies have proved that this activity presents multiple environmental, economic and cultural benefits. However, urban soils are often contaminated by diverse sources and historical usages, thus there is a potential risk for human health associated with agricultural performance, consumption of seeded products and the usage of these spaces for children with recreational purposes, being necessary to study soil conditions in order to guarantee safety.
Researchers from the School of Mining and Energy Engineering at UPM collected samples of arable soil layers of different urban gardens and assessed the metal content and the physicochemical properties of the soil…
Considering two scenarios of exposure -agricultural scenarios for adults and recreational scenarios for children- and applying bioaccessibility, the estimated risk does not exceed the maximum permissible for human health, although some elements (chromium and lead) and routes of exposure (soil ingestion and agricultural products) significantly contribute to the overall experienced by receptors in urban environments.
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