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The problem of brownfield land is universal. Countries throughout the world have problems with contaminants present in soil that prevent people from using the land. Large demand exists to improve soil health and to regenerate brownfield land for present and future generations. While brownfield land can clearly affect the physical health of people, plants and animals it may also affect people’s mental health or sense of well-being.
Land previously developed for industry or other uses may affect public health in a variety of different ways that does not appear well understood at this time. IHRR’s research project ROBUST (Regenerating Brownfield Land Using Sustainable Technologies) at Durham University is investigating how to restore brownfield land sustainably, but is also researching how brownfield land affects the well-being of communities that live around it. Recently, the project has begun its first public field trial testing a new technology for improving soil health that uses recycled minerals to improve the natural defences of the soil against contamination.