An effective way to reduce lead exposure in your garden, and to keep your garden free of dust and loose soil that can blow around and into your home, is to fully cover soil that may be contaminated. Effective barriers can consist of:
– Plants, ground covers, grass
– Natural materials such as mulch and pine chips
– Man-made substances such as pavers and concrete.
It’s also important to water the garden regularly, especially paths, roofs, walls and pergolas. This suppresses the dust. A drip system can be a cost effective way to water your garden, but you will need an everyday hose to water the walls, paths etc.
Play equipment and toys that are left or kept outside should be hosed down or wet wiped regularly. Sandpits should be covered when not in use.
It can be assumed that all soils in Port Pirie contain some level of contamination, so when growing vegetables, it’s important to raise the bed and use clean soil from a local supplier.
Research indicates that leafy vegetables, like lettuce, silverbeet, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower collect lead-bearing dust more readily than others. Because these vegetables are difficult to clean and remove all lead particles, they’re not recommended for consumption by young children or pregnant women.
And always remember to thoroughly wash all fruit and vegetables prior to storage or eating.