Community and urban gardening offer numerous benefits. Some gardens and outdoor play areas may have harmful substances like lead in the soil. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) promotes health education and outreach events called soilSHOPs to help people learn if their soil is contaminated with lead, and how to reduce exposures to contaminated soil and produce. The name soilSHOP stands for Soil Screening, Health, Outreach and Partnership. ATSDR developed this toolkit to help communities and other groups plan their own soilSHOP events.
At soilSHOP events, people can receive:
- Free soil screening for lead,
- Information on safe gardening practices,
- Ways to protect children from lead exposure, and
- One-on-one health education about the hazards of lead.