The Soil Environmental Chemistry (SEC) lab at Ohio State researches ways to restore soil function to protect human and ecosystem health. We specialize in:

  • Remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic chemicals
  • Beneficial use of agricultural, industrial, and municipal by-products as soil amendments as inexpensive local solutions with emphasis on human (e.g., public health), agronomic (e.g., crop, animal), and ecological bioavailability and risk
  • Using amendments to improve soil health

Our research program is an international leader in development of inexpensive novel in vitro laboratory methods (i.e., contaminant bioaccessibility) to measure soil heavy metal bioavailability to humans and ecological (i.e., avian, mammal, plant, soil invertebrate) receptors to evaluate soil remediation.  The Soil Environmental Chemistry lab has developed techniques to remediate soil quality and contamination in urban soils, which protects human health and restores contaminated land for food production, green infrastructure, natural areas, and redevelopment. As members of the Soil Water and Environment Lab (SWEL) collaboration, we are now offering soil heavy metal testing to urban growers in Cleveland, Columbus, and across Ohio. By providing low-cost testing and guidance for managing contaminated soils, the SWEL lab helps urban growers ensure their produce is safe.

In addition to helping cities address historic pollution, our research also enables cities to manage modern-day waste streams. We work to provide cost-effective, sustainable alternatives to current disposal methods by using industrial and municipal byproducts for soil blending and amendments.