lead in garden soil

Here’s an article from the New York Times: For Urban Gardeners, Lead Is a Concern.

“It’s kind of a dirty secret nobody really knows about because we’re all distracted worrying about lead in toys from China,” said Gabriel Filippelli, a professor of earth science at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis who has published several papers on lead accumulation in soil. His and other research indicates lead levels in people’s blood correspond directly to the amount of lead in the soil where they live.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • It is a huge problem. Some years ago I ran a program developing community garden plots, and every place we identified in our urban location was lead-contaminated. We ended up constructing raised bed sites at several locations, but it was not the preferred solutions, and drastically reduced the number of people who could participate.

    Even suburban gardeners should get a lead screening, especially if they plan on gardening with their children.

    Reply
  • Get your soil tested!
    If your garden is within 20 feet of an older house (pre-1978), you should have your soil tested for lead. Paint chips from older houses often contaminate home gardens.

    Contact your local university extension, they will probably have a testing lab you can send samples to for a very small price (UMass Extension will do a basic test for all heavy metals, pH, and basic nutrients for under $10).

    Reply

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