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How to participate

The VegeSafe program began in September of 2013 at Macquarie University’s Open Day event, where we offered free soil metal testing to attendees. Since then, we have analysed over 14,000 soil samples from 3,000 Australian homes.


In order to keep the program running and accessible to all, the VegeSafe program needs your support. We ask that you consider making a small donation to cover the costs of the soil analysis, time involved, and laboratory consumables. Donations of $20 (or more!) can cover the cost for up to five samples submitted for testing. To donate, click here:  Support VegeSafe


If you have a vegetable patch or are concerned about metal contamination in your backyard, we encourage you to participate. Follow these three easy steps:


Step 1: Complete the necessary VegeSafe

Consent form


Step 2: Collect your soil samples by following our

Soil Sampling Instructions


Step 3: Together with the completed Consent form, send in your soil samples to:



Professor Mark Taylor

Department of Environmental Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Macquarie Univeristy

NSW 2109 Australia



Frequently asked questions


Q: How much soil do I need to send?


A: An ideal sample size (per sample) would be approximately the size of a cricket ball. This will easily fit in a zip-lock bag (see below: $20 note for scale). If you have small zip-lock bags the sample should take up approximately half of the bag. 




Q: What is the turnaround time for VegeSafe soil testing?

A: We strive to provide a fast turnaround time (3 - 5 weeks) for our participants. However, we can often be busy with other academic duties at Macquarie University such as teaching, research, field visits and conferences. If you have previously submitted soil samples and are concerened that you have not yet recieved your results, please contact us



Q: How many samples will my donation cover?

A: Your donation covers up to five samples, it is not per sample. You can make a donation to support our program at the following direct link: Support VegeSafe



Q: Can I get my household dust tested at the same time?

A: Yes! Our DustSafe program provides testing of heavy metals in household vacuum dust. You are welcome to include your dust sample and your DustSafe unique ID inside your VegeSafe mailing package. To find out more, and to participate in the DustSafe program, please see