About soilSHOP

soilSHOP Health Educator working with diverse community members on raised bed garden.

What are soilSHOP Events?

Soil Screening, Health, Outreach, and Partnership (soilSHOP) events provide community members with free lead screening of soil gathered from their gardens or outdoor play area(s). Through soilSHOPs, ATSDR and partner organizations provide health education and outreach to help people learn if their soil is contaminated and how to reduce exposures.

ATSDR and soilSHOP

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is dedicated to promoting safer places for gardening and outdoor play. With the rise in community and urban gardening, it is important to protect individuals and their communities from contaminants that may be found in soil, like lead. Lead exposure, particularly in children, can cause irreversible and life-long health effects. No safe blood lead level has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect children’s IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. Although children are more susceptible to lead exposure, adults are not immune. Long-term and/or high levels of exposure can lead to high blood pressure or kidney damage in adults. soilSHOP events promote our goal to provide health education and outreach and help people learn about potential exposures to lead in soil, and how to reduce exposures. Our soilSHOP program contributes to the goals of the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts [PDF – 8.58 MB], released in December 2018. ATSDR’s soilSHOP activities are found in Objective 1.3: Reducing Lead Exposure in Soil. The soilSHOP program is an important piece of the overall federal blueprint for reducing lead exposure in the nation.

Page last reviewed: May 24, 2022