soil contamination

Greenpoint Soil Safety Workshop Teaches How to Test for Lead

(Image courtesy of GCEF)

As a result of Greenpoint’s rich industrial and manufacturing history, significant contamination of the local soil with toxins such as lead remains a problem.

A soil safety workshop from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund will help you learn “what lead (and other contaminants) in soils – and their soil test results – mean” on Saturday, April 20th, at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Experts on soil contaminants will answer your questions and help interpret soil test results; a 40-pound bag of compost will be available to take home for free.

Attendees should be at least 18 years old and must have completed the GCEF Soil Safety Basics workshop in advance. Contact workshop organizer, Lael Goodman ([email protected]), for permission to enroll if you have not taken the Soil Safety Basics workshop.

 

 

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Columbia Finds High Concentration of Lead in Greenpoint Soil — Have Your Yard Tested for Free!

Testing Greenpoint Soil. Via Columbia University
Testing Greenpoint Soil. Via Columbia University

An ongoing study by Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with the local community organization Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, has been testing Greenpoint’s soil for lead. Since this spring, the Columbia team has analyzed 264 soil samples from 52 neighborhood backyards. Their preliminary results show that 92% of Greenpoint backyards have soil with lead concentrations that exceed what the EPA considers safe for residential soil. Some of the soil samples exceed that mark by 7 or 8 times the safety limit — which makes them more adulterated than soil found in some polluted Peruvian mining communities. Continue reading

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More Toxic Secrets In This Rare 1980s ‘Hazardous Neighbors’ Brooklyn Study

hazardous

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of toxic chemicals, specifically as they pertain to Greenpoint. First, Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) released the ToxiCity Map to bring confusing, widely scattered publicly available data together into one cohesive document. Now, we’re bringing you the long-lost 1980s factory-to-factory survey of Greenpoint and Williamsburg by Hunter College, a study that many lifetime Greenpoint residents say they couldn’t find or easily access until now.

It reveals the former locations and quantities of reactive chemicals — the kind that explode when they make contact with water, such as cyanide. In many cases, they’re shockingly close to residential buildings in Brooklyn’s priciest real estate drag. From speaking with a NAG member at the map release event, I also found that the “Hazardous Neighbors” study contains information that’s not available in the ToxiCity Map. Continue reading

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Want Your (Public) Soil Tested?

No heavy metals here please! Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
No heavy metals here please! Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

 

Chromium? Cadmium? Nickel? Lead? Arsenic…? These heavy metals are not great things to have lurking in the soil at high levels, especially if you’re an avid gardener or have kids playing in the yard. (When I was little, I made mud pies – arsenic pies don’t sound so great.)

Continue reading

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