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The Saikawa lab at Emory University is partnering with Historic Westside Gardens (HWG), whose members and staff live in the community, to test a variety of active and potential growing spaces for heavy metals and metalloids, such as lead, zinc, and cadmium. Our work in the Westside has led to the finding of slag, a toxic byproduct from industrial practices. A result of this finding ultimately led to the establishment of the Westside Lead Superfund site. We are also working to identify safe and inexpensive plants to help remediate and remove the metals from the soil. This project was funded by the Emory HERCULES Center, which works to understand lifetime exposures and their health impacts. Other partners include the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.


Community Science soilSHOP 2024

We offer free soil screening to Georgia residents interested in checking their soil for harmful levels of heavy metals such as lead. We invite you to bring your soil to the following dates and locations throughout the year:


April 20th, 2024 from 12 - 2pm at 1442 Richland Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30310 (WAWA Outdoor Center)


April 20th, 2024 from 3 -5pm at 210-240 Georgia Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Phoenix III Park, at the intersection of Connally St. and Georgia Ave SE)







Check back later for updated information on other soilSHOPs we're planning on hosting!

Please read more information about soilSHOP, how we screen your soil, how to collect samples of soil and the limitations of the program here. 

Why Screen Your Soil?


This UNICEF report, Toxic Truth, mentions that about one in three children in the world are exposed to lead.

Soil is one such possible source of exposure to lead and has various health impacts. Some health outcomes associated with lead exposure in children include cognitive and behavioral issues and decreased academic performance. Lead exposure is especially dangerous to developing fetuses. Lead exposure in adults could lead to fertility issues, cognitive conditions such as memory loss, and even high blood pressure.

We invite you to check out our soil page to learn more, and to screen the soil you and your children encounter daily on June 25th!

How to Gather a Soil Sample:

This project is made possible with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in partnership with The Historic Westside GardensGeorgia Department of Public HealthAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units

If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to reach out to

Download this information in pdf form to share with others in your community:   

Live In the Westside?

If you live in this boundary in the Westside of Atlanta where the Superfund Site Investigation is ongoing, we recommend you contact Westside Lead Community Outreach (e-mail:, phone: 678-662-8603), for free soil testing and more.

Past soilSHOP Events​​

Let's Screen Your Soil for Lead!

  • February 17th, 2024 at Black Eco Fest

  • February 2nd, 2024 at Trip Elementary School

  • November 4th, 2023 at Shiloh High School

  • September 30th, 2023 at Science Gallery

  • August 16th, 2023 at Science Gallery

  • July 19th, 2023 at Community Movement Builders

  • April 15th, 2023 at North Decatur Methodist Church

  • March 19th, 2024 at James Brawley Drive

  • April 3rd, 2024 at Trees Atlanta

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