Home Gardens

backyard, garden, raised garden, soil, lead, contaminationAs backyard vegetable gardens become more common, environmental officials and scientists are warning homeowners that there may be lead in the soil. Flakes of lead paint from old homes often create contamination around houses that vegetables can take up. Remnants of leaded gasoline might also be in the soil near busy roads.

While the problem is pervasive in urban areas, suburban homes that were built near apple orchards are also at risk, because lead arsenate was once used regularly as a pesticide.

Soil around homes can contain everything from arsenic to motor oil, but lead is one of the most common contaminants, and to children, one of the most dangerous. Even tiny amounts of lead in the blood can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. In adults, lead can contribute to high blood pressure, reproductive problems, and memory loss.


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