Phytoremediation: A Novel Strategy for the Removal of Toxic Metals from the Environment Using Plants

David E. Salt, Michael Blaylock, Nanda P. B. A. Kumar, Viatcheslav Dushenkov, Burt D. Ensley, Ilan Chet, Ilya Raskin

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

1885 Citations (Scopus)


Toxic metal pollution of waters and soils is a major environmental problem, and most conventional remediation approaches do not provide acceptable solutions. The use of specially selected and engineered metal-accumulating plants for environmental clean-up is an emerging technology called phytoremediation. Three subsets of this technology are applicable to toxic metal remediation: (1) Phytoextraction-the use of metal-accumulating plants to remove toxic metals from soil; (2) Rhizofiltration-the use of plant roots to remove toxic metals from polluted waters; and (3) Phytostabilization-the use of plants to eliminate the bioavailability of toxic metals in soils. Biological mechanisms of toxic metal uptake, translocation and resistance as well as strategies for improving phytoremediation are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • heavy-metals
  • binding peptides
  • cadmium-binding
  • zinc tolerance
  • Lemna-minor
  • soil
  • accumulation
  • transport
  • selenium
  • tobacco


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