Very small amounts of lead are known to cause serious long term health effects.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to exposure from lead because of their hand to mouth activity and because they play in garden areas where lead can be in the soil. But: remember that ANYONE can be lead poisoned.
The narrow one metre strip around the foundations of a home, shed or garage (often referred to as the drip zone) is usually where the most lead contaminated soil can be found. This is because paint chips containing lead have fallen to the ground and over the years have mixed with the top layer of soil. This dangerous leaded soil does not "look" different and will not "go away". Lead does NOT biodegrade and needs to be removed or made "lead safe".
HOW DOES LEAD GET FROM THE SOIL INTO YOUR CHILD?
Lead in dirt clings to fingers, toys and other objects that children normally put into their mouths. This is the most common way that lead in soil gets into your child. Lead in soil does not pass through unbroken skin. The more lead that is in your soil, the more harmful the soil can be to your children’s health. If soil is covered, children have less contact with the dirt and the lead in it.