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Contaminated land is a major global challenge. Large areas of contaminated or brownfield land exist in higher income countries, eg, ~2.5m sites are suspected across Europe1 (300,000 of these in the UK2, although not all of these will need remediation). 126,000 sites in the USA are thought to be sufficiently polluted as to require remediation3. Lower and middle-income countries also suffer substantial land contamination problems. Significant problems include persistent organic pollutants (eg, see www.ihpa.info); mercury contamination particularly from small scale gold mining; contamination of agricultural land (eg, nearly 20 percent of farmland in China is thought to be contaminated4) and discharges from large scale industrial complexes and processing facilities.