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Article

Exploring the Potential Risk of Heavy Metal Pollution of Edible Cultivated Plants in Urban Gardening Contexts Using a Citizen Science Approach in the Project “Heavy Metal City-Zen”

Institute of Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Academic Editor: Zygmunt Mariusz Gusiatin
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8626; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158626
Received: 9 June 2021 / Revised: 15 July 2021 / Accepted: 21 July 2021 / Published: 2 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Urban Green Infrastructure for Climate-Proof and Healthy Cities)
Urban gardening has become increasingly popular, creating green oases in cities; however, many of these activities are undertaken in areas of high traffic density or on ex-brown field sites. As a consequence, there are still some barriers to the adoption of these urban gardening practices for food production. One of the public concerns is the transfer of urban pollutants such as heavy metals into the consumer’s food chain, however, city-wide data is often difficult and expensive to collect. In the citizen science project described herein, we conducted simple citizen-led common collaborative experiments in urban community gardens. These data provided information on the potential risk of heavy metal contaminants and ways in which to mitigate those risks in an urban gardening context. Generally, values were below guideline thresholds, however, at a few garden sites, soil trace metal concentrations (Pb, Cd, Zn) exceeded Austrian recommended limits. Moreover, only at two sites were plant trace metal concentrations shown to be above European food standards limits. Given the citizen’s positive response to the project, we suggest expanding this study to the whole of Vienna, giving newly established gardens a chance to predetermine the risks posed by their local soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban garden; citizen science; contamination; trace metals; health impact urban garden; citizen science; contamination; trace metals; health impact
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ziss, E.; Friesl-Hanl, W.; Götzinger, S.; Noller, C.; Puschenreiter, M.; Watzinger, A.; Hood-Nowotny, R. Exploring the Potential Risk of Heavy Metal Pollution of Edible Cultivated Plants in Urban Gardening Contexts Using a Citizen Science Approach in the Project “Heavy Metal City-Zen”. Sustainability 2021, 13, 8626. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158626

AMA Style

Ziss E, Friesl-Hanl W, Götzinger S, Noller C, Puschenreiter M, Watzinger A, Hood-Nowotny R. Exploring the Potential Risk of Heavy Metal Pollution of Edible Cultivated Plants in Urban Gardening Contexts Using a Citizen Science Approach in the Project “Heavy Metal City-Zen”. Sustainability. 2021; 13(15):8626. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158626

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ziss, Elisabeth, Wolfgang Friesl-Hanl, Sophia Götzinger, Christoph Noller, Markus Puschenreiter, Andrea Watzinger, and Rebecca Hood-Nowotny. 2021. "Exploring the Potential Risk of Heavy Metal Pollution of Edible Cultivated Plants in Urban Gardening Contexts Using a Citizen Science Approach in the Project “Heavy Metal City-Zen”" Sustainability 13, no. 15: 8626. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158626

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