Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

By Irene Kessel; John T. O'Connor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Lead in Soil

Soil and young children are no strangers. This is especially true when children play outdoors a lot, and even more so when they play in areas with open soil rather than a well-cared-for lawn. If that soil is contaminated with lead, children will carry lead-bearing soil with them on their clothes and on their skin. It will be tracked into their homes on their shoes and on the paws and fur of pets. Their toys will be dirtied with it, and it will get under their fingernails. When they touch their hands to their food or mouths, they will end up ingesting lead.


HOW LEAD GETS INTO OUR SOIL

Lead gets into our soil primarily via lead paint that chips and peels from the exteriors of buildings, and from the exhaust of cars and trucks during the decades of leaded gasoline use.

Paint from old playground equipment can fall into the soil and contaminate it. Old farm equipment or vehicles that are left to deteriorate on land can leave high concentrations of lead in soil. Specific areas of soil can also become heavily contaminated from lead paint on rain gutters and the leads that drain the water from the roof away from the house.

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