• Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods

Pesticide Remediation/Removal

see also pesticide fact sheets/herbicide

Coffee grounds might be the answer to agricultural contamination: Here’s how (by 
By Harriet Reuter Hapgood, euronews.green , 25/03/2024)     'On a domestic level, try directing your cafetiere contents to your garden, not your bin: used coffee grounds are excellent as an addition to home compost bins and wormeries, a mulch for roses and a deterrent to snails. And on a global scale, science might have the answer.   Scientists from Brazil’s Federal Technological University of Paraná found that leftover coffee can absorb bentazone, a herbicide frequently used in agriculture.   When old coffee grounds are activated with zinc chloride, their carbon content becomes 70 per cent more efficient in removing the herbicide.   The European Environment Agency has highlighted dangerous levels of bentazone in surface water, exceeding levels set in the Water Framework Directive and putting European Green Deal targets for pesticide use in jeopardy.  The UK’s Environment Agency cites bentazone as having the potential to affect long-term water quality and lead to an increased need to treat the UK’s drinking water sources. The herbicide has been shown to impact human health if it is inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.'   SNAP Comment: Bentazone is widely used for a variety of crops including soybeans, alfalfa, beans, corn, peas, peppers, and sorghum. It is used in Europe and approved in the US, but not in Canada at present. As the test has only been done with bentazone, it is unknown at present whether this method would work for other herbicides or pesticides in general. 

Baking Soda Washes Pesticides from Apples (By Janet Pelley, for C&EN, 15 NOv. 2017)  'The scientists compared the efficacy of the germicidal bleach to rinsing with tap water or a sodium bicarbonate solution, which is alkaline. “Most pesticides are not stable at an alkaline pH, which breaks down the compounds and helps to wash them away,” she explains.'  The researchers applied two common pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole and the insecticide phosmet, at concentrations used by farmers. 'Immersing the apples in a sodium bicarbonate solution for 15 minutes followed by a freshwater rinse removed all pesticide residues from the surface of the apples, whereas the tap water and bleach treatments removed some, but not all. Sodium bicarbonate degrades the pesticides, boosting the physical removal force of washing, He says.' However some residue had penetrated the peel and could not be removed.

Oregon Group Uses Mushrooms for Bioremediation (Beyond Pesticides, January 23, 2014)  Using recycled burlap bags filled with used coffee grounds, straw, and yellow oyster mushroom spawn, the purpose of the unusual potpourri will be to harness the extremely effective filtering capabilities of mycelium. “Oyster mushrooms, for example, can digest the complex hydrocarbons in wood, so they can also be used to break down petroleum byproducts. Garden Giants use their mycelia to trap and eat bacteria, so they can filter E. coli from agricultural runoff.” 

Chlorpyrifos residues: Although bombarding chlorpyrifos-contaminated containers with gamma radiation was "efficient for removing chlorpyrifos from the plastic packing," radioactive substances create their own environmental problems from both mining and disposal. Dilute chlorine bleach is a "perfectly viable alternative" effective to degrade chlorpyrifos residuesZapping pesticides with radiation,(Susan Kegley, PANUPS Dec 6. 2007, scroll down)

Study Finds Plants Remove Golf Course Pesticides From Soil   “We have identified plant species that can reduce the amount of certain pesticides in soil by up to 94 percent in the greenhouse.” Blue flag iris reduced chlorpyrifos by 76 percent and levels of chlorothalonil by 94 percent after three months of growth. 1 pants identified including the flag iris.(Beyond Pesticides, June 20, 2008)