Emissions from vehicles and peeling paint from older buildings can often cause soil to become contaminated with lead. Lead can permanently interfere with motor skills and cause cognitive impairment if it is ingested. If you have had your soil tested and the results show that lead is present, the following tips will help you treat the soil and keep your family protected from this dangerous chemical element.
Plant Items That Naturally Detoxify Soil
Sunflowers and ornamental cabbage naturally detoxify soil. Plant seeds for any of these items in the areas that have been deemed as contaminated. Cover the roots with potting soil and fertilizer. Wash your hands thoroughly after you have finished to prevent lead contamination to items in your home. The plants can take several years to eliminate the lead and you will have to have your soil tested before you plant any other items that are going to be eaten.
In the meantime, you can still make a small vegetable garden if you choose to. Purchase a pot that is long in length and plant several types of vegetable seeds in it. Display the container on a porch or patio and you won’t need to worry about contamination occurring.
Add Organic Matter To The Contaminated Areas
Organic matter, such as compost or manure will stabilize the contaminated soil that surrounds the sunflowers and ornament cabbage and will prevent it from blowing around other areas of your yard. Cover the exposed soil with an even layer of the matter. Do not add any leaves or grass clippings to the soil, since they may have come in contact with the emissions from a vehicle and be heavily contaminated. The sunflowers and ornamental cabbage can effectively reduce lead in the soil while the organic matter is present on the ground.
Place a temporary fence around the covered area so that children do not walk on the soil that is covered with the organic matter. Create a small walkway with paving stones for you and your family members to use when crossing the yard. Wash your hands thoroughly after you have finished.
Create A Safe Play And Relaxation Area
If your family enjoys time relaxing outdoors, you may be concerned about how everyone can safely continue spending time in the yard. Have a piece of artificial turf set up in one corner of your yard for your kids to play on. Add large sidewalk sections next to the turf to be used as a patio. Add small ride on toys, outdoor recreational equipment, and other various toys to the turf so that your children enjoy themselves while outdoors. Set up some small lounge chairs on the patio so that you can relax while watching your children play.
Stress the importance of washing hands when everyone goes in for the evening. It will be unlikely that your kids will touch any contaminated soil while on the turf or patio, but you will be protecting your children and yourself and preventing the spread of germs if everyone washes their hands on a regular basis.
All of these tips will help control the lead problem and will keep you and your loved ones safe. Schedule appointments with professionals, such as Nuclear Lead Co., Inc., to periodically have the soil on your property tested until the lead problem has been eliminated.