The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Cleanup Technologies Series 15: Phytoremediation

Sep 2, 2017

Environmental Enlightenment #216

See our Newsletter, Environmental Enlightenment #200, for introduction to one highly valuable, plainly written series of Citizen’s Guides published by the EPA at

With this issue we introduce the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Phytoremediation. You can reach it through the hyperlink under the blue header below.

“Phyto-“ originates from Greek phuton, meaning a plant. Thus, phytoremediation is remediation by plants.

An observation can be made that advanced life forms are not as capable as lesser forms in adapting to adverse elements in the environment.

Seeds stay dry in the desert waiting for a 100-years flood to make them sprout.

Bacteria survive miles under the surface of earth; and seals, bears and penguins live naked in polar zones.

Plants absorb toxins and, at times, even break them up to elements that are innocuous to higher life forms.

There’s evolution happening at every step where lower life forms support and convert (through the food chain) to higher life forms, from the plankton to bacteria to little fish, big fish, all the way up.

On a gradation scale, Man needs trees more than trees need Man, and trees need bacteria more than bacteria need trees; and all survive better in balance with each other.

Copyright Volodymyr Goinyk / 123RF Stock Photo

Phytoremediation is economical: plants do most of the work, control soil erosion, make a site more attractive, reduce noise, and improve surrounding air quality.

Go to the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Phytoremediation for the rest. It is simple and fun to read.


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