Checking for lead in your soil is always a good idea. High levels of lead, above 400 ppm (parts per million) can cause health issues especially with children. Lead cleanup in the Omaha area has been going on since 2009 and it traces back to a closed plant, Asarco that released lead emissions from the 1970’s to 1977.
Today, I came across an article, Lead contamination found in storm’s main path. This article looks at the recent tornado clean up efforts going on in Joplin, Missouri. According to the article, 43 areas were tested for possible lead contamination and of those 43 areas, 19 areas had lead levels above 400 ppm. The article points out that a former lead smelter had spread lead contamination in the past.
Each year at Midwest Laboratories, samples are received to detect the level of lead in soils. Lead can come from paint that was used on homes prior to 1980 and as the result of businesses who may have spewed water waste or air waste in the past. If you suspect the presence of lead in your soil, please take proper precautions in collecting a sample, by using rubber gloves and a ziploc bag.
One trend we are seeing a lot is new community gardens that are being implemented in the heart of large cities are taking proper steps to insure the soil is safe for growing produce. If you, are on a committee for a community garden, please contact a representative at Midwest Laboratories. We would like to work with you to get you the proper analysis for your soil at an affordable price.