Have you heard reports of lead contamination in homes in your vicinity? This is becoming an increasing concern in many areas. If you have young children and are worried about potential contamination from high levels of lead in the soil, get in touch with specialists. You may need to have the soil removed and replaced. What should you do in the meantime, to minimise the risk?
Use Protective Clothing
Treat the soil as potentially infected until you find out otherwise. This means that when you are gardening make sure that all clothes that come into contact with the soil are washed right away. Wear special gardening gloves. When washing these items, separate them from all the rest of your laundry load.
Reduce Risk Outside
Keep an eye on small children when they are playing in your garden. Make sure that they don't play anywhere near to areas where there is bare soil, especially around the homes' foundation or beneath the eaves of the roof. Lead contamination in the soil often takes place when paint scrapings (with high lead content) fall into the soil in these areas during renovations.
It's best if you try and cover all the bare soil by planting grass seed in those areas and cultivating growth. You could also place a couple of layers of mulch on top as a temporary measure, while you consider the soil replacement.
Be Careful When Growing
Don't grow any vegetables in the soil around your home until you are sure. In the meantime, you can use temporary garden beds within their own containers, and fill them with soil that you buy from your local home improvement outlet.
Guarding the Interior
It's very difficult to stop small particles being tracked into the home at any time. It's best to invest in a high quality mat to put next to the door and drill into the family the importance of wiping their shoes on this mat every time. To capture the fine particles that do make it inside, use an efficient vacuum fitted with a particulate air filter. Use this cleaner at least once per week on all the carpets. When it comes to the floors, use a mop and bucket instead.
All surfaces should be cleaned regularly, especially those that small children are prone to come into contact with. Remember that this also means low down around those baseboards. In fact, it's best if you only allow small children and babies to play in an area where you have laid down special sheeting for this purpose. In other words, don't put your baby down on a carpet directly. Once again, make sure that you wash these special sheets after they have been used.
For more safeguards, talk to a contaminated soil removal professional.