Soil Scientists’ Advice to Urban Gardeners: Test for Lead

(photo: @NYCzerowaste)

In the past few years, the issue of soil contamination has gained the attention of environmental groups in New York City. New Yorkers have ample reason to be concerned about their soil. While the city is cleaner than it used to be, decades of pollution left our local soil thick with toxic levels of heavy metals. For years, the presence and persistence of these toxicants were unknown, posing risks to all urban residents.

Fortunately, public support for environmental protection has rehabilitated much of our city soil. But, there is still more that New Yorkers can do, and Climate Change Week NYC is a good time for us to consider how activities like urban gardening and farming can be done in a way that is both healthy for humans and helps to improve the environment and potentially mitigate climate change.

Abating contaminated soil with organic matter helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions because compost sequesters carbon, diverting it from the atmosphere.

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