Minneapolis Offers Free Soil Testing to Raise Public Awareness of Lead Hazards
In 1998, the City of Minneapolis designed and implemented an innovative public outreach program to provide free access to soil testing for lead content to all Minneapolis residents. Soil testing kits were made available through local hardware stores, gardening centers and community groups. Citizens could either bring in samples to local merchants where city employees performed on-the-spot analysis with portable XRF, or used the sample kits to collect samples and send them to the city for analysis. The goal of this program was to expand public awareness of the prevalence of environmental lead contamination and identify highrisk areas. Initial funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Center for Disease Control, and then by funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).