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Toxics Cleanup Program

Areawide Soil Contamination Project

Toolbox Chapter 6

Types of protection measures to reduce potential exposure to arsenic and lead in soil include:

  • Education programs

    refer to broad-based, community-wide efforts to inform individuals and businesses of the presence of contamination and changes in behavior that can be taken to limit or reduce exposure to the contamination. Such programs use a wide range of techniques to distribute information and increase public awareness.

  • Public health programs

    generally involve activities designed to identify and focus protection measures on specific populations within a community considered to be at high risk.  They often include health monitoring activities (e.g., blood lead testing or urinary arsenic screening), one-on-one education on steps to reduce exposure, and intervention activities to address sources contributing to elevated exposures.

  • Individual protection measures

    are simple, day-to-day things that individuals can do to limit or reduce exposure to soil contaminants.  Examples include hand washing, removing shoes before entering homes, using gloves while gardening, scrubbing fruits and vegetables before eating them, wet mopping to clean surfaces indoors, bathing pets, and washing toddler toys.

  • Land-use controls

    are actions by government or private agreements that provide information on the presence of contamination on a property and/or that limit or prohibit activities that could result in exposure to contaminants or harm to a physical barrier on the property.  Examples include zoning, permits and licenses, covenants, easements, deed and plat notices, and real-estate disclosure.

  • Physical barriers

    prevent or limit exposure to contaminated soil or unauthorized access to a property.  They may be used in combination with excavation to consolidate contaminated soil on a particular part of a property.  Examples include fences, grass cover, wood chips, clean soil cover, and pavement.

  • Contamination reduction

    involves reducing the concentration of contaminants in soil or removing the contamination for disposal at another location or in a contained area on a property.  Examples include soil blending or tilling, soil removal and replacement, and phytoremediation.