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Soil Sampling for Metals is Open to the Public

For Immediate Release 10/26/21

Soil Sampling for Metals is Open to the Public

Local Nonprofit Collaborates with KSU and UKY to Offer Free Soil Sampling in East Liverpool

 (East Liverpool, OH) - River Valley Organizing is collaborating with researchers from Kent State East Liverpool Campus and the University of Kentucky to offer a citizen science soil sampling toolkit for residents of East Liverpool. The Citizen Science toolkit is now ready for residents in East Liverpool or neighboring communities to use.

Community residents can pick up a toolkit at the River Valley Organizing office at 506 Walnut St, East Liverpool or by calling Organizer Thomas Powell at 330-708-4097. Completed soil sampling toolkits must be dropped off to River Valley Organizing by November 12. Individuals will receive personalized soil sampling results within a couple months.

The toolkit was designed with input from local East Liverpool residents. These individuals piloted the soil sampling toolkit in their own yards. In a meeting open to residents in 2018, and in surveys open to the residents of East Liverpool, there were concerns about possible metals in the environment that may negatively affect health. To address these concerns, this study focused on metals in the soil and ways that residents could collect soil samples using Citizen Science. The researchers developed a Citizen Science toolkit to collect soil to allow for large scale mapping of metals in the soil. Residents in East Liverpool can help the scientific process by using the toolkit to collect soil samples that will then be tested for metals like lead and manganese. Having only three researchers try and collect a representative sample of soil in East Liverpool would take a lot of time and resources. The idea with Citizen Science is that the average person can be part of the soil collection process to aid scientists in collecting soil to be tested. 

With the help of everyday citizens, residents in the area can take 5-10 minutes to collect soil in their own yards. Once soil is collected it will be sent to the lab and tested for metals. Each participant will receive a personalized report of the metals in their soil and will have the option to meet with researchers to discuss the results.  

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, Kurt W. 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.

If you’re interested in participating in the soil sampling project, visit www.rivervalleyorganizing.org for the protocol and instructions or call Organizer Thomas Powell at 330-708-4097 for more information.

Questions regarding this study can be directed to Dr. Lydia Rose at Kent State University, East Liverpool by calling 330-382-7572 or emailing her at Lrose17@kent.edu.  


ABOUT RIVER VALLEY ORGANIZING: River Valley Organizing  is comprised of leaders committed to restorative and transformative solutions for public health and justice that DEFY the isolation of incarceration, the impacts of racialized drug policies, the desolation of environmental degradation, and violent policing; empowering and strengthening the health and morale for ALL! They are creating a multi-racial, multicultural working class organization that radically builds community outside of existing institutions and exclusively centers the leadership of affected members to build community power. 

ABOUT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY: Kent State University is the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by U.S. News & World Report. With eight campuses spanning Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Twinsburg Academic Center and academic sites in major world cities, such as New York City, Geneva and Florence, Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. Kent State is a national leader in award-winning student support services to graduate students. The student body comprises about 35,000 students, including 1,370 international students from nearly 100 countries, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 262,000. The addition of new learning environments from the sciences to the arts and the development of exciting new academic programs characterize Kent State’s focus on transformational educational experiences. Kent State is one of 91 public doctoral universities with high research activity, as categorized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Please see the below documents for conducting your soil sample. Please print out the soil sample collection form and informed consent form, fill them out accordingly, and submit them with your toolkit.