Simulation of Pb-contaminated roadside soil was made by addition of various quantities of Pb to unpolluted soil. The ameliorative roles of refuse compost, pig manure, Na₄-pyro-phosphate, Na₂-EDTA and CaCO₃ in the reduction of Pb uptake by two crops, Brassica chinensis and Raphanus sativus, were investigated. It was discovered that refuse compost and pig manure with their higher organic matter content coukd reduce Pb uptake in crops by five- and seven-fold on average when compared with the control. Na₄-pyro-phosphate and CaCO₃ had similar effects in the reduction of Pb uptake but the effectiveness was lower when compared with the two wastes. Utilization of refuse compost and pig manure to improve Pb-contaminated soil will be beneficial. Copyright © 1985 Published by Elsevier Ltd.