Soil contamination testing

Asked February 15, 2013, 2:11 PM EST

Hi, I was thinking about growing some food crops in ground this year, rather than in containers as I have done before, but the site is in downtown Hillsboro and is next to a gas station. Is there any way I can get the soil tested for any possible contaminants which would maybe rule out this approach?

Washington County Oregon soil testing soil contamination

1 Response

Thank you for asking about the soil concerns. Testing is possible and it helps to know what you are testing for. The most common concern is lead, and here is an article from Oregon State University Extension titled "Reducing lead hazard in garden and landscape soils" http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/release/2008/04/reducing-lead-hazard-garden-and-landscape-soils The article references two OSU publications, "Laboratories Serving Oregon: Soil, Water, Plant Tissue, and Feed Analysis" em8677 http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20037/em8677.pdf and ec1616 "Evaluating and Reducing Lead Hazard in Gardens and Landscapes" http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1616-e.pdf
Dust from your property will be a concern if there is lead, so it is good to know about even if you choose to use raised beds for growing plants.