Soil in urban areas like Middletown can have a high enough lead content to cause serious health problems. Increased lead levels in soil are related to past use of leaded gasoline and lead paint on buildings. Lead paint that has flaked off or was scraped, sanded or disturbed in the past stays in the soil for a very long time, thousands of years, and can continue to be harmful. Lead poisoning can result in brain damage, behavior problems and other health concerns.
If you live in an urban area or in a neighborhood with older homes, you should have your soil tested, especially if you have young children or are growing veggies in your yard. Lead can accumulate in root vegetables, and also in leafy greens. And just being in contact with soil with a high lead content can be harmful.
You can have your soil tested for lead for free at the upcoming Plant Science Day in Hamden, CT on August 4, 2021. See below for more info, including instructions on how to collect a soil sample!
If you would like a fact sheet about Lead Safe Urban Gardening, contact the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District at firstname.lastname@example.org.