Skip to main content

NC State Extension

Chemical Contaminants in the Soil

en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Duke Superfund Community Engagement: Working with NC Communities to help prevent exposure to environmental contamination

These resources were created by the Duke University Superfund Research Center’s Community Engagement Core with the goal of helping garden managers, Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and home gardeners identify, understand, and manage risks associated with chemical contamination that may be present in garden soils. This work was supported through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P42 Multi-project Center Grant program, grant number P42ES010356.

Duke Superfund Community Engagement


Meet our Partners at Duke

To learn more about the soil in your garden and best practices to keep you safe in the garden? Take this survey

General Information on Soil Contaminants

Websites Print Factsheets
10 Healthy Garden Habits English pdf Spanish pdf
Soil Contaminants in the Garden English pdf Spanish pdf
Soil Testing Labs English pdf

Information on Specific Contaminants

Contaminant Information
Arsenic Web Page Printable PDF
Cadmium Web Page Printable PDF
Chromium Web Page Printable PDF
Diesel Range Organics Web Page Printable PDF
Lead Web Page Printable PDF
Mercury Web Page Printable PDF
Nickel Web Page Printable PDF
PCE & TCE (Solvents) Web Page Printable PDF


Video 1:  What are Soil Contaminants?  Duke University Superfund Research Center personnel Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza and Bryan Luukinen discuss what soil contaminants are, some specific contaminants to be aware of, and more.

Video 2:  Exposure Routes and Health RisksFormer N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent Mary Jac Brennan, Duke University Ph.D. student Christina Bergemann, and Duke University Superfund Research Center staff Bryan Luukinen discuss the ways that you can be exposed to soil contaminants from the garden, which populations are more vulnerable, and more.

Video 3:  How Can I Learn More About My Garden Site?  Mary Jac Brennan and Jeana Myers, former and current N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents respectively, discuss the importance of knowing how the land at your garden site was previously used, methods for gaining this information, soil testing options, how to properly sample your soil for testing, and more.

Video 4:  How Can I Limit My Exposure in the Garden? Former N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent Mary Jac Brennan, Duke University Superfund Research Center personnel Dr. Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC Community Garden Manager Lourdes Vinueza discuss some of the best practices your can follow to limit your exposure in the garden. 

Hand with plant How to test your soil and interpret the results
Water drop Well water testing for nickel
Question mark Still have questions about soil testing? Email us at
Plants For more information visit:
Duke Superfund Community Engagement

Sample Case Study

This work was supported through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P42 Multi-project Center Grant program, grant number P42ES010356.