Testing for lead in soil

Learn how you can take and submit a soil sample for lead testing.

Testing for lead in soil

The soil in Minneapolis has some lead contamination due to the use of leaded gasoline before 1979.

  • The soil right next to your house's foundation is most likely to be contaminated.
  • This is due to lead paint falling or being scraped off the house.

You can send us a soil sample and we'll test it for lead. 

Here's what you need to do.

  • Walk around your property and look for bare soil along your foundation, in your yard and in your garden.
  • Label a clean sealable bag for each location.
  • Scoop five tablespoons from the top one-half inch of bare soil at each location into the bag.
  • Send it to the attention of Alex Vollmer at the Minneapolis Health Department.

We'll send you the results within two weeks.

Read about lead contaminated soil at the Minnesota Department of Health

Read about lead contaminated soil at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Get a Gardener's Guide to Healthy Soil from the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA)

soil abutting sidewalk with trowel and other garden tools nearby

Contact us

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415