Pb+G(rounded) Acting on Lead in Soil

Soil lead contamination is often found in vulnerable communities due to a lack of available funding and high numbers of structural demolition. Currently, the city has not adopted any legislation that requires contractors to practice the lead-safe demolition guidelines. As a result, neighborhoods like the Hilltop, experience higher rates of lead-related health consequences that can be directly tied to these unsafe demolitions.

We are working to address lead contamination in the soils of urban neighborhoods. We proposed to address this issue of lead contamination in urban communities by directly engaging residents through a citizen science approach. We’re accomplishing this through recruitment and a series of hands-on workshops. In 2021, we worked closely with the members and Chaplin Christine of Abiding Missions to do education and testing of soil remediation strategies on the church’s property. Our main soil remediation strategy was the incorporation of biochar into the soil. We produced a biochar report detailing our process.

We have also continued to build partnerships with other organizations currently developing remediation techniques and information. Allegheny County Conservation District has been a reliable partner and has let us use their XRF soil sampling technology. This XRF machine uses analytical techniques to determine the elemental composition of the soil. In our case, this machine helps us detect the amount of lead in a soil sample along with other heavy metals like iron, copper, zinc, etc.

Along with the ACCD, DECO Resources continues to support our work in this field with their expertise on the practical application of various interventions and we look forward to building on that body of work.

Funding for this specific program ended in December 2021, however we continue to be involved in efforts to reduce lead-related health risks.