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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a guy come out to look at the farm yesterday and asked if I had ever had the soil tested for arsenic??Granted he came in a Hummer.Had manicured nails and wanted a "view".
We are asking a bit less than the going rate for property in our area 25,000 an acre and we have a poultry contract that makes on average 100K a year. He only spent a short time here walking the property Never looked in any of the buildings.He told the real estate agent he wanted a farm with a view.I guess the economy can't be bad for some if they can afford to pay that kind of money for land with a "view".
Any way I drifted sorry.What would cause arsenic in the soil??
 

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Hmm I dunno maybe if you're near an old steel mill or some such industrial area??? Interesting question though!
 
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Inorganic arsenic occurs naturally in soil..along with other ores i.e copper, lead, etc.
Organic arsenic ( made by heating the ore) can be in soil via older pesticides and batteries.
 

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Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in the soil. Almost impossible to not have traces of it.

Martin
 

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We used to kill cotton for stripping (Harvesting) with a spray of arsenic acid. The cotton was killed so that the leaves wouldn't stain the fibers. That could be why he was asking. I know there are areas here where I wouldn't want to grow food stuff because that is where the sprays were mixed and sprayers washed out.
Ed
 

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Voice of Reason
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Yes, it's naturally found in soil. In fact, you can expect to find arsenic in a lot of foods. You'll normally find 10 to 20 ppm of arsenic in garlic, and apple seeds can contain up to 40 ppm.

When I was working on the shale oil project, one of our prime objectives was to remove arsenic from shale oil, since arsenic poisoned other refining catalysts. We had to develop a catalyst & process to do that. During the development work, everyone in the lab was regularly monitored for arsenic exposure, and we learned that those who were fond of Italian food typically had a higher arsenic baseline due to the garlic content.
 
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I had a guy come out to look at the farm yesterday and asked if I had ever had the soil tested for arsenic??Granted he came in a Hummer.Had manicured nails and wanted a "view".
We are asking a bit less than the going rate for property in our area 25,000 an acre and we have a poultry contract that makes on average 100K a year. He only spent a short time here walking the property Never looked in any of the buildings.He told the real estate agent he wanted a farm with a view.I guess the economy can't be bad for some if they can afford to pay that kind of money for land with a "view".
Any way I drifted sorry.What would cause arsenic in the soil??
Would this poultry contract be for broilers?

You might want to check the feed and where your manure is disposed of then.

Google arsenic and poultry manure. There's a lot of information to be found.

.....Alan.
 

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In the 1800's bodies were prepared for burial using arsenic, so people that had wells near the burial places got arsenic poisoning. It was also used as a wood preservative in years gone by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would this poultry contract be for broilers?

You might want to check the feed and where your manure is disposed of then.

Google arsenic and poultry manure. There's a lot of information to be found.

.....Alan.
I was wondering if this was his concern.Do they still use arsenic in broiler feed?We have breeders .
This is not and old farm. Most of the property has been opened up in the last 20 yrs.No cotton farming in this area for years if ever.We have tons of cherry trees wouldn't this cause the soil to test for arsenic? I am thinking if he is looking for arsenic free soil he may be in the wrong area.
We don't have broilers and only use our own litter every 3 years or so. It is bad to bind zinc if you use to much.This area is chicken capitol of the world so lots of broiler manure is used on most all of the farms now or in the past.I was worried about arsenic in treated lumber LOL
 

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Master Of My Domain
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a local orchard was sold for development and was found to be contaminated with high amounts of arsenic from the pesticides used in the early 1900's. it was mostly in the top 2 feet of soil.

if this guy wants a farm with a view and has no interest in the buildings and is worried about arsenic, my guess is that he is a developer. expect the farm to be chopped into building lots.
 

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Arsenic is used in poultry feed and in pesticides and in gold mining and is naturally occurring. Over application of any of the manmade ones can lead to high levels of arsenic in soil. it takes a lot to be toxic to plants and the plants don't typically take up enough to poise problems to the things that eat the plants.
I'd let it go with a shrug.
 

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Voice of Reason
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I'd let it go with a shrug.
Actually, you are absolutely correct. You can very often let it go with a shrug.

Arsenic is only harmful in its trivalent state. Pentavalent arsenic is common, as is ground state arsenic metal . You could actually swallow a chunk of arsenic metal and it would simply pass through your body without harming you. Your body can't assimilate ground state arsenic.

During medieval times it was commonly believed that humans could build of an immunity to acute arsenic poisoning, which we know is not true today. Still, European noblemen would buy arsenic from mad-hatters to take small, but then ever increasing doses, in the hope that when their enemies (most often their own family members) tried to poison them with arsenic they would be immune. We know today that the mad-hatters were providing them with pentavalent arsenic, which the body can't assimilate.

This is a fun thread for me. I don't get many opportunities to talk about chemistry here at HT.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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how about airbourne arsenic inhaled during a long period of soil disruption during development?
 

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Voice of Reason
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how about airbourne arsenic inhaled during a long period of soil disruption during development?
Yes, trivalent arsenic oxide would be absorbed through the lungs. However, acute arsenic poisoning isn't going to happen with those small amounts. Still, arsenic is considered a heavy metal, so once absorbed in the liver & kidneys it will remain there for life.
 

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During the Dust Bowl (1930s), locust (or grasshoppers) plagued much of the country. These insects devoured millions of acres of crops. The government supplied farmers with arsenic-laced bait as a means to end the plaque. There are thousands of caches of old arsenic-laced grasshopper bait all over the country.
 

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I remember helping my parents clean out the barn here on the homestead as a kid (in the 70s or early 80s) and we found several boxes of arsenic pesticide. Mom said they used to dust their tomatoes and other stuff with it back in the 30s and 40s.

You never knew what kinds of deadly stuff you would find cleaning old bars and outbuildings. A friend once found several cases of dynamite in an outbuilding. All of the nitroglycerin had leaked out and formed crystals all over the sticks and caps and formed into one big stick mass. No one who knew about explosives would touch the stuff and he ended up calling out the state bomb squad to take it away.
 

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My hair lady (lady who does my hair, not a lady made of hair) says she and her husband were poisoned by arsenic when land behind their home was developed. She lost tons of weight, hair fell out, no one believed them, etc. They've been doing chelation therapy for years to get it out of their system. Anyway, apparently it was horrible. They tried to sue the developer but were unsuccessful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Nevada.Very interesting.Always liked chemistry but liked Microbiology,and biology better.
I am not really concerned if a developer buys it as that is the best use for this land.It has become too expensive to live here and we are the only large piece of land left this close to town.I am surrounded by McMansions and whining city folks who moved to the country but don't like the flies or smell.Want to move to a quieter spot and with what we make on this place it will be paid for.
Although with the economy so bad we didn't expect to show it once but it has been shown several times.
 
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