Citizen Science Soil Sampling Project

A citizen science soil sampling toolkit is now ready to offer its use by anyone in East Liverpool or neighboring communities.


To participate:

  1. Download or view the soil sampling protocol or pick up a copy at the River Valley Organizing office at 506 Walnut St, East Liverpool.
  2. Collect your soil!
  3. Completed soil sampling toolkits must be dropped off to River Valley Organizing by November 12.


Individuals will receive their soil sampling results within a couple months.

The toolkit was built with input from local East Liverpool residents. These individuals piloted the soil sampling toolkit in their own yards. Soil analyses revealed that 50% of the samples (five of the 10) had lead levels above what the Environmental Protection Agency states are safe for soil where children play. Lead is a neurotoxicant and when inhaled or ingested can result in deficits in learning and reading. The primary source of lead in soil is from deteriorating lead-based paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Lead in soil can be ingested as a result of hand-to-mouth activity that is common for young children. Lead in soil may also be inhaled if resuspended in the air or tracked into your house thereby spreading the contamination.

The team collaborating on this initiative came together three years ago and consists of Amanda Kiger, Executive Director of River Valley Organizing, Lydia Rose, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Kent State University East Liverpool Campus, and Erin Haynes, DrPH, Deuschle Professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

Funding for this project is through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Interdisciplinary Research Leader program.