toxic painted poured in soil

tropical_thought(San Francisco)April 25, 2014

Let us just say this was an accident, paint was poured in the soil of a garden with ok soil. I am thinking dig up all soil and discard. Please explain the chemical properties of paint and what can expect to happen. I am just sick over this. You have no idea how upset, I am. I am a super composter. So please don't tell me criticized me. I did not do it. I just want to know how to fix it.

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lazy_gardens

Let the paint dry, then dig up the big blob of paint with whatever dirt is stuck on it and bag it for trash day.

It's not going to kill anything except the plants it may have landed on. It's not going to do horrible things to the soil.

You most definitely do not need to dig up and discard all the soil in your garden just because you spilled some paint. That's over-reacting.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:05AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

It's a lot of paint, about 30 cans were dumped and then watered down into the soil. All out of my control. It's a horrible story, don't ask the why. The paint may have been lead paint from the 70s. I am not going to be growing food at all, but just garden plants.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:16AM
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ericwi

Since this was done in the 1970's, it might be difficult to figure out what kind of paint was dumped at this site. If the paint was oil based, the solvent portion would have evaporated away by now, leaving clumps of congealed binder and pigment in the soil. This material can be dug up, sifted out, and discarded. If the paint was water based, and large amounts of extra water were applied, with a garden hose, then the paint will have dispersed down into the subsoil, over a much larger area. Any residual paint could be down below the zone where plant roots grow. I'm not sure that it would be practical to attempt to remove the contaminated soil in that case.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:06AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Not all paint up to 1970 something. had lead in it.....just that some possibility existed.

How dangerous is latex?...probably not so much, but I still would not want it in the soil.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Need more details. When did this occur? What kind of paint? What is the area of soil contaminated?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:51AM
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toxcrusadr

All good questions, I too will await further details before offering advice.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 12:10PM
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darth_weeder(z7 NY)

interesting

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:26PM
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goldenz5

If you're not eating it, who cares? Try putting plants in, and see how they do.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:32PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

You can get a professional soil test to determine how much lead is present.
Guidelines are available, likely from the test lab, that will tell you if it's wse to avoid your soil for growing edibles.

If it is unsafe for edibles, the reason is that the lead-contaminated soil is on the plant surfaces. It is *not* absorbed by the plant.

To avoid any issue that might occur with lead contaminated soil you can build raised beds on top of the soil surface.

Guidelines are easy to obtain.
Use "gardening on lead contaminated soil" -- but no quotes -- in your favorite search engine, then take your pick.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Oil based paint? Latex paint? Poured recently but manufactured in the 1970's or poured onto the soil in the 1970"s?
If the paint was poured onto that soil in the 1970's more than likely it is of little concern today except for many the residual lead which might be of if you eat that soil.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:27AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

The poster didn't say the paint was poured in the 70's. The poster said: "paint FROM the 70s".

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:35AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I had the empty cans but I took them to the toxic dump yesterday, and they are gone, but the paint was from the 70s, but hopefully, they were mostly dried up and empty and only a small amount was poured. They watered it in so they thought I would not notice, but I saw a big white stain, later the stain was gone. Then I woke up at 3am and sat up and said, I figured it out. The paint cans needed to "dry" so the mostly empty cans were just sitting around, when I collected them all and took them to toxic dump. But, the real rub in this was I could have taken them to toxic dump before and not after they "pour" it out. The terrible smell was another clue, but they claimed that was the can of something like glue, which was not poured out.

I am not going to eat anything from that soil. It's a north facing garden, but my real garden is a west facing garden. I am not into eating because san Francisco is really horrible for growing food. And we have this white fly problem, and not enough sun to make anything good, but potatoes, but not yams grow good here.

A San Francisco northern exposure garden in the fog belt, would be totally insanity. If they only problem is a food crop, but what if it poisons plants I would grow for flowers?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:25AM
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shuffles_gw

I would contact the police. The perps should be required to clean up their vandalism - at the least!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:23AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was asked:
" Poured recently but manufactured in the 1970's or poured onto the soil in the 1970"s? "

It doesn't matter as far as growing plants. Please see my response above.

If recent vandalism then yes, also follow up with the authorities

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:10PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

It does not matter as far as growing plants? Yes, poured recently, but although as many of 30 cans, maybe not each was full or maybe each had very little but dried up paint, as consider paint cans had been left fallow in a shed since the 70s or even earlier.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:52PM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

Very sad. If something can be seen to be removed, do so ... it is a "phytoremediation" site now. There will be hardy plants to eat up many toxins .. though I suppose they should be put in the regular trash and not sent to compost.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:54PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

As has been suggested, avoid the problem. Use raised beds filled with imported soil.

See this
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/soils/lead-in-home-garden/

And this
http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8424.pdf

Or do you own search with this phrase
gardening with lead contaminated soil

If none of that floats your boat, contact the local agency (city, county, or state) dealing with hazardous wastes.

Here is a link that might be useful: gardening with lead contaminated soil -

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:18PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'San Francisco is really horrible for growing food.' .... 'not enough sun to make anything good..' Really????? How do we Northern Europeans grow any food at all? ;-)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:26AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

England has a lot more sun and summer heat. Have you looked at the climate data for summer temps in san Francisco? Most people who don't live here don't really believe how cold the summers are here. I did mention potatoes grow well and furthermore there are parts of san Francisco which have more sun, but I live in what is called the fog belt.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:56AM
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lazy_gardens

A San Francisco northern exposure garden in the fog belt, would be totally insanity. If they only problem is a food crop, but what if it poisons plants I would grow for flowers?

That is unlikely ... I'd go ahead and plant some of the cheaper, more reliable local plants that will grow on that side and see what happens. I have no clue what that might be, because I live in AZ.

Have a soil lead test done, for your own peace of mind.

sunset.com has a good plant finder - just enter your zip code and pick the parameters, especially shade.

Apply as much compost as your yard is producing, and if it turns out to be a problem, install a raised bed.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:21PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'England has a lot more sun and summer heat.' tropical_thought - that statement got me thinking that I must have completely misunderstood what the climate of SF is like. But I had a look at the figures. Just looking at May to September, SF is warmer on average and has approx TWICE the sunshine hours than the UK average. e.g in September the average UK high is 64.2 in SF it's 70.2. and in May SF has ave 325 hours sunshine. We get 190. At least according to Wiki. I realise these are averages and the OP's climate might be different - but to say you can't grow any veggies apart from potatoes just doesn't seem possible. Not being able to grow yams is hardly the end of the world. There are stacks of other things which would grow there. The only thing we have more of than SF is rain - roughly 2 - 3.5 inches every month all year round. It's the rain clouds which keep the sun off us. Of course I'm not saying you have to grow vegetables if you don't want to. But I have to take issue with the opinion that you can't. Here's part of my veggie patch in a cooler, gloomier climate than SF.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 4:36

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

+Mercury. M

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 4:42PM
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toxcrusadr

Dried paint can be put straight into the landfill. Only liquid paint has to be taken to a haz waste dropoff. One way to get rid of paint that still has liquid in it is to let it dry until it's solid, then toss the can in the trash. But you probably knew that and it's a moot point now.

Are we realy talking 30 cans of paint dumped or some amount of liquid from the ones that still had liquid in them? How deep does this go? Is the soil saturated with paint or just stained? Maybe a picture would be of some help.

I'd say if you can't smell paint in the soil, try growing some plants. If you can, turn it over and air it out until the odor is gone. Or just dig it up and haul it to the dump. Or put a 10 lb sack in your trash every week. :-]

Lead would be a cheap soil test, mercury, possibly not so much. There were (are) also other metals used in paint - chromium and cadmium for yellow, for example.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:06PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

It came out better then I thought, the soil is poor in that garden and was able to get it all picked up. However, I noticed with the painting they are doing now, they seem to risen out brushes and discard more paint into the garden, but at least it is new paint, not 70s lead paint. I just have to keep on doing this. I am glad, I have not worked this soil, because if I had added compost, I would hate to discard valuable composted soil, only poor dry soil has to be discarded. So, it will not be a major problem and like I mentioned I won't be growing foods, but I wish they would not do this, but there is no water source at the house right now, I don't know what to tell them. I wish they would keep toxic things OUT of my soil.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:45AM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I'm glad that it is turning out better than you expected :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:51AM
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lazy_gardens

I noticed with the painting they are doing now, they seem to risen out brushes and discard more paint into the garden,

Tell them to STOP DOING THAT!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:36AM
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