In her article “Sunflowers to the rescue” on page 188 of the 2014 Farmers’ Almanac, Sherie Blumenthal points out that Sunflowers remove lead and other toxins from the soil. My question is where do these nasty things go? If they are collected in the seeds, are we in danger of being lead poisoned if we eat the seeds, or poisoning birds if we feed the seed to them? I generally compost sunflower residue after the growing season. Can composters be unwittingly be adding lead arsenic, chrome, zinc, copper and other nasty heavy metals to their compost piles, and then back to the soil in concentrated form?
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