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RE: lead/arsenic in soil

  • Subject: RE: [cg] lead/arsenic in soil
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
  • Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 12:42:46 -0500

This should not be considered to be the issuance of professional or legal
advice.  Environmental law is a real "tar baby" and if there is one area
where 'due dilligence' is necessary, it's necessary here, especially where
childen are involved.

Most of us who community garden in cities have some degree of heavy metals
in our soil.  The good thing about heavy metals is that they are "heavy. "
In many cases, with extensive building up of the soil ( over years) with
soil amendments and composting, a safe environment can be created, but not
in all cases. 

I really don't know about arsenic, but I do know something about lead
issues:   

Lead poisoning is devastating to children. If you are going to have kids
digging in a garden area, you need to have a clean, raised bed with
completely clean, lead free soil for them to dig in. This from the Minnesota
web site:" Play areas should always be located away from buildings and
fences with chipping or peeling paint. Set up a sandbox as a safe play area.
Buy fresh sand from a building supply or landscape supply company. Sand that
has come from a demolition site could be contaminated with lead. Cover the
sandbox when it is not being used. This will protect the sand from animals,
and from contamination with lead paint chips and dust.

Children should not play on bare soil, since it may be contaminated with
lead. This soil and lead dust can easily get on children's hands and toys,
and then into their mouths. Be sure to wash children's hands thoroughly with
soap and water after they have been playing outside. Have children play in
grassy areas of the yard, or where there is other appropriate ground cover.
If the grass under a swing set wears away, cover the area with sand. This
provides a soft landing for falls, and prevents children from kicking up
contaminated soil when their feet drag under the swing."

Here is a US Dept of Health paper on lead pollution in soil as an overview:


http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/cxlead.html

The is the Ohio State University fact sheet on lead in the garden: 

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1149.html

An interesting and helpful page from the East St. Louis Research Project of
the University of Illinois at Urbania: 
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/la/LA437-F94/soils/main.html

This page from the Minnesota Dept of Health is prettly clear and the
suggestions on this page for food gardening is standard practice for most of
us in urban areas. 

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/lead/homes/worksoil.html


There are extensive discussions on heavy metal and environmental  pollution
on garden sites in the archives of this listserve going back several years: 

http://www.hort.net/lists/community_garden/

Make yourself that pot of tea and coffee, click, read and print the good
stuff.

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman 





-----Original Message-----
From: Jen Dodd [mailto:jkdodd@juno.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 10:24 AM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] lead/arsenic in soil


i'm fairly new as community garden coordinator and trying to build a program
for our county.

most urban garden sites have previously had homes on site.
anyone know of a good process for dealing with lead/arsenic in the garden
soil?
our soil is very SANDY.
tests reveal that some areas in the gardens are near 'danger' levels of
lead/arsenic.

i don't want to encourage some sort of 'fear of soil' , or of 'growing food'
among gardeners.
i suppose a wise process would be to build raised beds and bring in the
compost?

who out there has a good process of dealing with this issue?
are there any horror stories relating to this issue, in the history of urban
gardening?


thanks a lot.

jen dodd
americorps/neighborhood nutrition network/gainesville, florida






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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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