From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...
Most Common Sources of Lead Poisoning:
* Deteriorating lead-based paint
* Lead contaminated dust
* Lead contaminated residential soil
My best advice about the health threat of contaminated residential soil.
1. For optimum protection, grow edible plants in self-contained sub-irrigated planters (SIPs). This is arguably the most hygienic way to grow food plants. It is highly productive, saves water and time while offering protection from contaminated ground soil. Note that traditional raised beds can be converted to SIPs by adding a liner and a simple-to-make water/oxygen reservoir system.
2. Have your soil tested for toxic metals contamination before growing any edible plants in the ground. Ask questions if you are not sure of the results.
3. Do NOT listen to the advice of other gardeners about "easy" ways to remediate your soil. The majority of hobbyist gardeners, even those with long experience, have only anecdotal knowledge about both toxic metal soil contamination and horticultural science. Very few have higher education in soil contamination issues or horticultural science.
These same urban gardener counter-culture people gave me the following type of advice when I discovered that I had prostate cancer this year.
"Don't get radiation!" and "Take saw palmetto." Not one of these self-styled doctors expressed empathy or an understanding that I had cancer and should follow best medical practices. Incidentally, Walter Isaacson’s book about Steve Jobs reveals that he regretted not having surgery. Instead, he followed the same type of alternative medicine advice I got from the urban horticulture counter-culturists. Sadly, we know the result.
My urologist recommended radiation treatment and that is what I underwent for two months (5 days/week) at NYU Medical Center. I postponed surgery to replace my two very painful knees and followed the advice of both my urologist and radiation oncologist. My PSA before radiation was 12.0. A follow up PSA recently read 2.0 normal and I sleep better. I will have another follow up next month.
It’s one day at a time. My medical to-do list. Prostate cancer radiation treatment. Check! …Hearing aids. Check! …New glasses. Check! … Weight loss. Check (lost 30 pounds through calorie reduction). ...New knees. Coming up after the first of the year. I look forward to pain-free walking in 2012 and really miss daily walks along the shore, camera in hand.