White House spokeswoman Katie McCormick-Lelyveld said Thursday that tests on the soil in the White House garden detected lead levels of 93 parts per million. Soil is considered unsafe for growing vegetables when it reaches more than 500 parts per million.
First lady Michelle Obama planted the garden on the South Lawn this spring with local schoolchildren. Produce from it is used in the White House kitchens and donated to area groups.
McCormick-Lelyveld says the White House will continue to grow vegetables in its garden, which food activists sought and praised.