How to Test Soil for Lead
Before discussing how to test soil for lead, it’s important to know that lead in soil is not itself bad or unusual. Lead is naturally found in all soils. A healthy range of lead in soil either 15 to 40 parts lead per million parts of soil (ppm), or 15 to 40 milligrams lead per kilogram of soil (mg/kg).
It’s when the amount of lead in the soil exceeds a healthy range that you need to start getting concerned. Polluted soil can multiply the amount of lead hundreds of times over.
Lead pollution in soil is typically caused by lead-based paint chips weathering away from buildings and landing in the soil. This causes lead from the paint chips to contaminate the soil.
Vehicles used to be notorious for lead emissions but leaded fuels have since been phased out. Another leading cause used to be insecticide containing lead arsenate, but lead arsenate is no longer in use.
Although effort has been made to reduce lead contamination of soil, lead that has already found its way in the soil will stay there for hundreds of years.
Lead in soil is a risk when ingested or inhaled. Anything grown in the soil may also pose a risk if eaten. Children under six are at even greater risk of exposure to lead in soil because of their play habits combined with increased sensitivity to the effects of lead.
The surest way to test for lead in soil is to send a sample to a laboratory. Unfortunately, there is no completely do-it-yourself method available at this time, but you can certainly gather the sample and send it on your own.
With home soil testing kits, like the ones we offer, you can test for heavy and toxic metals with legally defensible and laboratory certified testing
Soil associated environmental contaminants such as toxic heavy metals can cause serious long term health effects, inclusive of; tooth and bone aches, headaches, neurological and intellectual impairment, cancer, kidney damage, autoimmunity disorders as well as joint diseases.
All tests are conducted using EPA-approved methods and meet all EPA, state, and certification agencies’ requirements. The only thing you have to do is ship your samples to the lab in the original sample box with our pre-paid shipping label.
The analysis fee is included in the kit purchase price; no hidden fees. An analytical report is delivered within days of receipt of the sample.
How to Test for Lead in Soil: Best Practices
Whether or not your soil tests positive for lead or other contaminants, there are best practices you should be following all the time to keep your soil safe.
Set up gardens away from old painted buildings.
Plant more fruiting crops.
Use more organic materials, such as high quality compost,
Wash hands immediately after gardening.
Discard outer leaves before eating leafy vegetables.
Wash all produce thoroughly.
Use a fence or hedge to protect the garden from fine dust.
With those best practices in place, the last thing you’ll need for full peace of mind is the results from one of our soil testing kits.
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