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 seeks to enroll individuals who own property in the City of Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park for confidential soil testing. Participants will first be visited by the research team to collect soil samples from their yard. At this initial visit the research team will select 3 separate locations for sampling. In a second visit, the soil will
be aerated and fertilizer may be applied to the site. Approximately 1year after the second visit, the sampling team will return to resample the soil.
 The participants will receive all test results at the close of the project. Participants will be invited to group discussions focused on ways to garden and landscape that minimize the risks associated with soil lead contamination.

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