Herbs and vegetables grown in New York City community gardens are loaded with lead and other toxic metals, a startling state study shows.
Tainted vegetables — some sold in city markets — were found in five of seven plots tested, according to data obtained from the study by The Post through the Freedom of Information Law.
In the study, scientists used safety levels set by the European Union for lead and cadmium, since the United States doesn’t set a threshold for veggies.
Once in the body, lead can remain for 30 years, causing permanent learning disabilities, behavioral issues, hearing problems, heart disease, kidney disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and death.
Children, pregnant women and sick people are most vulnerable to lead poisoning, experts said.
Shoppers at a farmers market outside East New York Farms in Brooklyn — where a carrot was tested with nearly three times the safe amount of lead — were stunned by the study.
The Parks Department said gardens involved with the study have all received clean soil and compost.