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Soil Lead Project

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This study looks at strategies to reduce the transfer of lead in soil to garden crops, gardeners, farmers, and children. Children are at the highest risk of lead exposure because of their small bodies and rapid brain development. Children and adults can be exposed to lead by accidentally swallowing (ingestion) or breathing in (inhalation) soil particles that contain lead. This study is being conducted in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

Allison Harris

Study Leader


 P.   (313) 894-1030

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Members of the project team take a sample from EcoWorks headquarters, part of a study to devise a transformative, low-cost remediation technique to make lead-in soils more inert and safer for families.

The goals of this study are:

  1. To identify methods to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in residential soils.

  2. To identify a low-cost method that will cause lead to undergo a chemical change that will render lead biologically inaccessible upon exposure.

Study Procedures

This study enrolled individuals who own property in the City of Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park for confidential soil testing. Participants were visited by the research team to collect soil samples from their yard. At this initial visit the research team selected 3 separate locations for sampling. In a second visit, the soil was aerated and fertilizer may have be applied. Approximately 1 year after the second visit, the sampling team returned to resample the soil.

Please see our Resources section below to view preliminary results and to learn how to replicate our process at your property. 

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All three EcoWorks programs are united under the Net Zero F.A.S.T. umbrella and provide just, equitable solutions to climate change and other community sustainability challenges.

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