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Soils throughout parts of Oakland may be contaminated by lead, a remnant of the city's industrial past.

A caution for Oakland’s urban gardeners: lead in the city’s soil

on April 12, 2013

In neighborhoods like West and East Oakland, you can drive for miles without passing even one grocery store. To fight food scarcity, many neighborhoods have started to claim vacant lots and turn them into thriving vegetable gardens. But city gardeners should be aware of a hidden danger lurking in their dirt.  Madeleine Thomas has more.

Click the audio player to hear more about urban gardening.


  1. Julie Twichell on April 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for this coverage. There are things people can do to reduce their exposures to lead in the garden. The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has info on their website and offers free in-home lead consultations to owners of pre-1978 residential properties in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley and Emeryville. Go to or call 510-567-8280 for more info.

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