Healthy Actions

You can be exposed to arsenic and lead in dirt in many different ways.

Simple steps called “Healthy Actions” can keep your family safe from arsenic and leadTom_the_Gardener_transparent.

Healthy Actions and Prevention:

We are exposed to arsenic and lead in the dirt in our yards, but we can also track dirt and dust inside our homes in a variety of ways. Healthy Actions are simple things you and your family can do to reduce contact with arsenic and lead in dirt. Find a full list of Healthy Actions here.

Here are a few examples of ways we are exposed to dirt, and Healthy Actions you can take to reduce risk:


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Children are exposed when they put dirty hands and toys in their mouths

Scrub hands well with plenty of soap and water.

Wash toys frequently.

Cover bare patches of soil in your yard with ground cover to keep toys out of the dirt.

Provide a sand box for digging.

Take shoes off at the door to greatly reduce the dirt and dust inside your home.

Vacuum and damp dust at least once a week.


Dirty Dog

Pets track dirt into the house

Keep pets clean.

Wipe your pet’s paws before entering the home.

Brush and bathe your pet regularly.

Give pets their own bed.

Cover up bare soil so dogs like this one don’t go digging! You can fill and cover holes with mulch, gravel, or wood chips to help discourage further digging.


Photo by Tim Samoff https://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff/

Gardeners work in the dirt

Wear shoes and gloves while gardening, and take them off before going inside.

Dust off outside, and wash dirty clothing separately from other laundry.

Wash your hands well, and use a scrub brush to clean dirt from under your fingernails.

Wash fruits and vegetables with a scrub brush and peel root vegetables.

Grow your produce in raised beds made from untreated materials.


Have your soil tested

If you are in our service area, you can have your soil tested for free.

Complete list of recommended Healthy Actions

Please visit Pierce, King, and Thurston County websites for outreach materials and programs for your specific area. For regional information please visit the Department of Ecology.