Lead & Your Garden

How do I reduce the risk of my children picking up lead dust from the garden?

There are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of your children picking up lead dust in your garden and playing outside:

  • It is essential that your children wash their hands regularly, especially after playing outside and petting animals.
  • It is essential that you discourage dirt eating, many small children put dirt into their mouths. This hand to mouth behaviour can increase their risk of elevated blood lead levels.
  • Reduce the amount of bare soil areas in your garden, make a play area for your children that has no bare soil by covering it in top soil, turf, ground cover or mulch, mulch is the cheapest way to cover play areas.
  • You can build a sand pit for your children to play safely in, ensure you purchase sand from a reputable supplier and cover it when not in use.
  • Raised vegetable garden beds are the best way to encourage child interaction with safe gardening, teach your child the importance of washing their hands after gardening.
  • Thoroughly wash all home grown fruit and vegetables, peel root vegetables before eating to remove lead dust.
  • The use of rain water tanks for drinking purposes in Mount Isa is not permitted by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Rain water tanks if used must be first flush systems. A first flush device is one that takes the first water from your roof and diverts it from your tank. It is important to flush the roof and divert water from your tank, because over time your roof gets lead dust, dirt and debris from the environment. The rainwater effectively washes your roof. If you do not use a first flush device, the first of the rainwater which will carry most of the dirt and dust straight to your tank.