Medical experts at Environmental Protection UK have warned "guerrilla gardeners" to beware of planting edible crops on potentially unsafe land, according to an article published on Medical News Today.
The charity advises that many "urban green spaces" may appear to be excellent places to grow food, but the countrys industrial past may have left land contaminated and dangerous for gardeners.
"We would advise anyone considering harnessing the potential of their local landscape to grow food (as opposed to ornamental plants) to seek advice on likely soil quality from their local authority or a specialist consultant," Environmental Protection UK policy officer Lisa Crews is quoted as saying.
"If there is any doubt, the space can still be utilised using containers filled with safe soil."
Growing your own food has become increasingly popular in recent times, but the practice of guerrilla gardening – using unused land to grow your food on – could be endangering the health of gardeners.
The safest way to grow food is to do so in a safe and controlled environment such as your garden or greenhouse.