Is there LEAD in my garlic plants?

How quickly and easily is lead absorbed into plants?

In particular, we’ve got some wild garlic growing right behind our house. The bulbs make a tasty garlic paste. However, my wife pointed out the disturbing fact that there’s a lot of paint chips in the soil that have flaked off the house. Old paint chips. Eighty years of old paint chips. So how easily does the lead leach out of the paint and into the soil? And how much of it gets taken up by the garlic bulb?

And, to make the question more general, would the answer be different if we were talking about other root crops (say, taters) versus berries (say, tomatoes or raspberries) versus leaf or flower crops (say, lettuce ans basil and broccoli)?

I doubt that you have anything to worry about from your garlic. Garlic is not one of those heavy metal accumulating plants used in lead phytoremediation. (Garlic mustard, mentioned in the link is a different species.)
This piece on Lead in Garden Soils, is probably your best general guide:

However, lead salts are soluble at low pH:


If you have normal soil pH, you’ll probably fare as well as the gardens downwind from the old smelter in Denver:

EPA superfund site report

Holy cow! That’s one of the most spot-on and informative GQ answers I’ve read. Thanks Squink!

Remember hearing/reading years ago that the roots[and assorted connected bodies thereto]absorbed most of the heavy metals. Fruit was next[tomatoes, peas, squash, etc.] Then leaves,stems and such[lettuce, spinach,rhubarb]