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Phytoremediation is the direct use of living plants for in situ remediation of contaminated soil, sludges,sediments, and ground water through contaminant removal, degradation, or containment. Growing and,in some cases, harvesting plants on a contaminated site as a remediation method is an aesthetically pleasing, solar energy driven, passive technique that can be used to clean up sites with shallow, low to  moderate levels of contamination. This clean, cost-effective and non environmentally disruptive technique can be used along with or, in some cases, in place of mechanical cleanup methods. Phytoremediation can be used to clean up such contaminants as metals, pesticides, solvents, crude oil, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and landfill leachates.

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