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Milwaukee Health Department offering soil testing services

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- People living in Milwaukee are encouraged to get their soil tested this spring.

The City's Health Department will test the soil for nutrients and lead.

Bagged soil can be dropped off at the Health Department in the Zeidler Municipal Building. It costs $15 for nutrient testing and $10 for lead screening, or $25 for both. 

The Health Department says lead is naturally found in soil at very low levels but with some older houses, lead paint chips could have seeped into the soil. 

To prevent lead exposure through the soil, the City recommends:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Careful washing can remove soil contaminants before eating.
  • Plant gardens in raised beds. Be sure that these gardens are away from painted buildings, if possible.
  • Cover bare soil in your yard with wood chips or grass. Also cover walkways with cement or gravel.
  • Keep children’s play areas away from bare soil. Children are especially vulnerable to ingesting lead-contaminated soil because of the consistent hand-to-mouth activity.

For more information on lead in soil screening, call the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory at 414-286-3526 or visit milwaukee.gov/testing-fees.

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