Do you know what’s in your soil ? Probably not, as most of us think that the “organic” natural soil in our garden and other areas is probably safe and low in toxic metals. What’s in your home soil can be a large collection of fertilizers and pesticides from overspray or the water supply or was the soil by chance fill dirt brought in from somewhere else ?
No, I’m not trying to get you alarmed, just cautious and curious. The more you know about your soil the safer the environment for you and your pets. Only way to be certain concerning of the actual contents of your soil, is to check with a laboratory test.
The bagged soil industry is a 2.14 billion dollar industry (2021) with limited regulations. As an example, if you’re in California only the products that contain fertilizers are checked for those chemicals however, not for toxins including lead or arsenic. That’s probably an additive problem at worst, as it turns out that many soil additives and other components (fertilizers and more) may have added to the toxic burden.
The organic material you see advertised on the bags can and typically consist of bark, that may be chemically removed, from seed and rice hulls to pecan and walnut shells and don’t forget the peat moss, coconut coir, kelp meal and perlite. Then add the bat guano, chicken poop, fish stuff or other animal manure and you get the picture. The bag of garden soil can be any mix of 1000’s of products. And the real issue is that it may never be tested. Assuming it is tested only random checks are done . Back in 2014, 28% of soil products failed the bagged claims and remember we are not even talking about toxins.
As an option, you can look for the OMRI-tested (Organic and certified products) which do have to meet standards including low lead levels.