More comprehensive tests can detect possible toxins such as chromium, cadmium and arsenic, which can cost up to $100.
CAAEJ currently pays for the soil tests it performs, though Chen is unsure how long the organization can keep absorbing these costs.
“We’ve been working actively on this soil lead testing project for the last ten months and it’s just been such a learning process.
“That’s one of the really insidious things about environmental justice, it’s not something that’s necessarily in your face like cancer.
To mitigate lead levels, Chu suggests excavating and replacing soil, composting to dilute lead concentrations and using raised beds.