I live on a very busy main street with about 20-30k cars per day.
Does any one know how dangerous the particulate is from car and truck exhaust when consuming vegetables? Is washing with water sufficient or is something like vinegar more effective? My front yard would seem to be at the most danger but Im unsure how far the particulate can travel; is the backyard unsafe as well? What about the neighbors in back of us? And in back of them? So on so forth
Lately I'd be more worried about the rain honestly, haha, but sure it's an issue all the same. If the geoengineering is as widespread as investigators say nearly all of us have alumnium content in our soils, making it quite tough to grow in some areas (notably city centers). Adequate washing coventional or organic produce is advised. There are soil-borne pathogens just as dangerous if not more dangerous than a little carbon fallout... Most cars must run unleaded these days, but theres still a bit of lead in it regardless.. ALL soils should be properly tested as you progress with your project..as most soils in America have a lead content (sometime considerable and imminently dangerous). The risk is always there. It's how we address these problems.
Have your soil tested at your local extension office!
I used to live about 100 yards off of a busy highway, and if we swept/hosed off our porch and windows every day, the next morning they would be covered again with a fine black sooty dust. As the freeway system "improved", much of the truck traffic had a quicker way to go around us (and our wealthy neighbors to the north managed to get a ban on non-local delivery truck traffic) the situation greatly improved. I believe that the exhaust (and tire dust) residue does have a negative effect, and would certainly wash all produce before eating. It is just one of the prices we pay for living near civilization.
The folks at Vermont Compost wont take leaves for that exact reason. I can't remember what he said the residue is exactly though. He said his compost is one of very few that dont have a registrable amount of what ever the compound was.
Could you build a plant hedge to sheild the exhaust? I have thought about my front yard too. And thinking I could put a hedge to help filter the toxins. But then it still will leach into the soil. But it would be better than nothing.
I used to live in the middle of a big city and our windows would get covered with a black soot. Definitely not something I would want to eat. However, this soot washed fairly easily.
I agree with Jack and I would absolutely choose veggies/fruits grown in a city core that are possibly covered with that soot that washes away rather than eat fruits and veggies that were grown with very toxic chemicals. Especially since a lot of those chemicals end up inside the fruits/veggies.