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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lead & Gardening: Important Facts to Keep in Mind

Unfortunately, the soil in many areas has lead in it. While only elevated levels of lead (over 400 parts per million) are considered hazardous by the US Environmental Protection Agency, no amount of lead is safe for children. Lead can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, especially in small children.

As you make your gardening plans for this summer, please consider the following tips provided by the Healthy Homes Coalition:

How to Protect Your Family
• Always wash vegetables before eating.
• Wash hands after gardening.
• Don’t wear gardening shoes inside the home.
• Add lime to your soil to maintain soil pH levels above 6.5 to limit lead
availability to plants.
• Add organic matter to your soil to bind the lead.
• Don’t let your kids eat dirt.

For more information, view this "Gardening & Lead" Fact Sheet from the Healthy Homes Coalition.