Lead in Soil

While some lead naturally occurs in soil, soil around your home can also become
contaminated with lead and lead dust from other sources.

Soil can be contaminated through:

Soil can be contaminated
Soil can be contaminated
  • Lead paint chips and dust from deteriorating lead paint on a home’s exterior
  • Past use of leaded gasoline in cars, or from nearby businesses or factories that use lead

Lead in soil can be breathed in or swallowed by children when playing outside in the dirt and can be tracked into the home.

Lead can also be encountered in food grown in contaminated soil. Some fruits or vegetables can even absorb lead from the soil.

To protect your family from lead in soil, be sure to:

  • Remove shoes before entering the house
  • Use raised beds when planting fruits and vegetables, filling the bottom with at least 12 inches of clean soil
  • Wash fruits and vegetables from your garden thoroughly before eating
  • Wash hands after working or playing outside, especially before eating



State of Michigan resource with information about how lead can be found in the soil around your home.
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