Hi, just wanted to get this out there since Indianapolis can't be the only place with a history of lead smelting that effects the soil. If you are in Indy, especially right downtown, it's recommended you have your soil tested and follow some basic protocols (raised beds, washing veggies, etc) if you're growing food.
Anyone who has a garden in an urban environment should test the soil for lead. Lead can be toxic at high concentrations. Contamination can occur from lead-based paint that chipped off old buildings (prior to 1978) and lead from auto emissions along busy streets. Lead is not presently used in paint and gasoline to any degree, but once lead has been deposited, it does not move much through the soil and can persist for a long time. If you live within the I-465 Interstate loop, test your soil for lead. Lead Testing in Marion County
Free soil testing for lead is available from: Safe Urban Gardening Initiative, c/o Dr. Gabriel Filippelli, Department of Earth Sciences, IUPUI, 723 W. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Consult the Garden Safe Garden Well publication (linke below) for information on collecting a sample.
Residents of Marion County can also obtain free soil testing for lead by contacting the Marion County Health Department (317-221-2117).
Lead Testing outside Marion County: Out-of-county residents should contact their own county health department. Consult local government information for a telephone number. If needed, your Purdue County Extension office can direct you to the proper contact information. Professional soil testing labs can also test your soil for lead.
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