HuMates stabilises or assists in the degradation of toxic substances such as: nicotine, aflatoxins, antibiotics, shallots, and most organic pesticides. In the microbial degradation process not all of the carbon contained within these toxins is released as CO2. A portion of these toxic molecules, primarily the aromatic ring compounds are stabilised and integrated within the complex polymers of humic substances.
Humic substances have electrically charged sites on their surfaces which function to attract and inactivate pesticides and other toxic substances. For this reason the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA recommends the use of humates for clean up of toxic waste sites. Many bioremediation companies apply humate based compounds to toxic waste sites as a part of their clean up program. Growers interested in cleaning up their soils (destroying various toxic pesticides) can accelerate the degradation of poisons (toxins) by applying humic substances.
The presence of humic substances within saline soils (those soils which contain high salt concentrations, e.g. sodium chloride) aid in the transmutation of the sodium ions. The transmutation reactions, a biological process that occurs within living organisms, result in the combining of sodium with a second element, such as oxygen, to form a new element.
Application of humins, humic acids, and fulvic acids to saline soils, in combination with specific soil organisms, results in a reduction in the concentration of sodium salts (e.g. NaCI). The reduction is not correlated with a leaching of the salt, rather with an increase in the concentration of other elements. The addition of humic substances to soils containing excessive salts can help reduce the concentration of those salts. By reducing the salt content of a soil its fertility and health can be “brought back” to provide a more desirable environment for plant root growth.
Harmful soil enzymes are stabilised and inactivated by humic substances. Once stabilised and bound to the humic substances enzyme activity is greatly reduced or ceases to function.
These enzyme stabilisation processes help to restrict the activity of potential plant pathogens. As the potential plant pathogen releases enzymes designed to break down the plants defenses, the pathogens enzymes become bound to humic substances. As a result the pathogens are unable to invade potential host plants.