Former orchard lands

From 1905 to 1947, lead-arsenate pesticides were used in orchards, primarily apple and pear. These pesticides left lasting arsenic and lead contamination in soil. Some former orchards have been turned into neighborhoods, schools, and parks. People living, working, and playing in contaminated soil may be at risk.

Our maps are only estimates of potentially affected lands. Check with your local planning department to find out if your neighborhood was built on former orchard lands.

We funded cleanups at 26 schools and two parks in Central and Eastern Washington. These cleanups helped protect thousands of children in the places they play. Find out which schools and parks have been cleaned up.

Potentially affected lands

Lead-arsenate pesticides were primarily used in apple and pear orchards. The map below provides a general distribution of lead-arsenate pesticide contamination based on where apple and pear trees were located historically. The information is based on the peak-year acreage of apple and pear trees from 1905 to 1947, when lead-arsenate pesticides were used.

Number of acres potentially affected in each county

Potentially affected land per county
Potentially affected areas of Chelan, Okanogan, and Yakima counties, based on land use
Historical orchards in Chelan and Yakima counties, based on 1947 aerial photographs