Would you like to be part of a team that is investigating lead pollution in North Central Troy?


As you probably know, lead exposure continues to be a problem for children and families in our city. One pathway of lead exposure that doesn’t get much attention is contaminated soil. Unfortunately, soil can be polluted with lead because of the historical use of leaded paint and gasoline.

The good news is that it is relatively simple to identify contaminated soils and to take action to reduce exposures to any toxic materials that they contain. The Our Soil team—which includes professors, students, and Troy community members—has been making do-it-yourself kits to detect lead in the soil around our homes, in our gardens, and in the places where children play. You are invited to join the team and become a “citizen scientist” for North Central Troy. Your participation will help the whole neighborhood by revealing lead contamination problems and finding ways to reduce everyone’s lead exposures.

We will be offering a free two-part workshop in June 2023. Participants will collect and test two samples of soil and receive free, confidential results. Participants will also receive information and resources for creating safer yards and gardens, working together with neighbors to make a safer, greener North Central.

Important details:

Participation is completely free, but you must register in advance so that we can prepare the correct number of soil testing kits.

Part I: June 3, 10-12 (2 hours) at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Avenue). Gain information, learn to collect soil samples, and collaborate to shape the investigation.

Part II: June 17, 10-2 (4 hours, lunch provided) at NATURE Lab (3319 6th Avenue). Analyze the soil samples, map the results, and get access to community resources that can help us to solve the problem.

You can reach out to Abby Kinchy with questions at or 518-698-5204.

Results from previous soil testing in Troy are reported here.

The funding for the project comes from the National Science Foundation and the Rubin Foundation.

We hope you will join us this June!

Our offices are located at:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department of Science and Technology Studies
Russell Sage Laboratory
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180

Those interested in visiting NATURE Lab, a community laboratory at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY, can contact Ellie Irons at