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Re: need advice on site with high lead

  • Subject: Re: [cg] need advice on site with high lead
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 19:10:29 EDT

Jack Hale and Mike McGrath are probably the most knowledgable folks I know on 
this listserv re lead paint, and heavy metal remediation in gardens. 


Jack even had a phytoremediation study in one of his gardens paid for by a 
large commerical concern a few years ago, if I'm not mistaken. 

The issue is always kids, and their sucking up of this very nasty metabolic 
poison into their blood streams and skeletal systems. Having tutored kids in 
NYC for over 30 years as a volunteer, I have to tell you that working with kids 
whose intellectual capablilities have been blunted by PICA ( which is what the 
lead paint syndrome is called) is bloody tragic.  Europe banned lead paint in 
houses over 70 years ago. We only stopped doing this in the eighties, and are 
still having the devil's own time dealing with this poision in older 
buildings in this country. 

OK - lead paint is heavy and sinks down, but digging it up, as deep as you 
can go, burying what you have, and then using raised beds is the only ETHICAL 
thing any commnunity gardener can do.  Once you've worked or seen lead poisoned 
people, no degree of crossing your fingers or hoping you can do it on the 
cheap can be justified.  

Dig it up, according to scientifc standards, dump-truck new earth, and raised 
beds, and be sure you test what you have new is the only way that I see is 

Or pave the place over and place containers on top of the paving.  Or just 
walk away and let the place become a basketball court.  Sometimes that may be 
the best use of a wasteland. 

Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

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