Welcome to the Community-Based Investigation of Soil Contamination in Atlanta!

About us

The Saikawa lab at Emory University is partnering with Historic Westside Gardens (HWG), whose members and staff live in the community, to test a variety of active and potential growing spaces for heavy metals and metalloids, such as lead, zinc, and cadmium. Our work has led to the finding of slag in the Westside neighborhood, which is now a Superfund site. We are also working to determine safe and inexpensive plants to grow to remediate, or remove, the metals from the soil. This project was funded by the Emory HERCULES Center, which works to understand lifetime exposures and their health impacts. Other partners include the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.

Our Goals

1. Measure the concentration and bioavailability of heavy metals in urban garden

2. Test commonly- used plants and assess if they can reduce heavy metals in contaminated sites

Our Partners


Saikawa lab

Emory University