Members may have noted with concern an article in the Sydney Morning Herald of 7 September titled ‘Lead threat to children from home veggie patches’. Lead contamination of soil in the inner-city, including Glebe, can be a particular danger to children and may arise from soil being walked into the house from gardens or streets. The article notes:
A study following five Sydney families over 15 months has discovered a direct link between lead contamination in soil and contaminated lead inside the house, with family members and pets likely walking it in. The study found summer is particularly dangerous, as dry weather creates more contaminated dust that easily moves around.
The problem is exacerbated if vegetables are grown directly into contaminated soil.
The simplest solution in relation to vegetable growing is to build raised garden beds with new soil. Members who may be concerned about the proposed community garden at St Helen’s will be pleased to learn that raised garden beds will be used, and that in any case the soil has been tested and found safe for vegetable growing.
The Glebe Society website, at the Local Issues/Environment page, has an article on ‘Lead Paint – An Important Reminder for those renovating in Glebe’.
References: SMH article http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lead-threat-to-children-from-home-veggie-patches-20130906-2tan9.html#ixzz2eHgvDSQm;
Glebe Society website article https://www.glebesociety.org.au/?p=733