In this study, a total of 144 bulk soil samples were collected in cultivated and uncultivated sites in different areas for evaluation of the activity concentrations of Po-210 and Pb-210. Moreover, 4 core samples were collected from four distinct reference points in the Gediz Basin in Turkey and investigated organic matter content, Po-210 and Pb-210 concentrations depending on the depth. The activity concentrations of Po-210 and Pb-210 were measured by means of alpha spectrometry. While the activity concentrations of Po-210 and Pb-210 in cultivated sites are in the ranges of 12 +/- 3-86 +/- 4 Bq kg(-1) dw and 17 +/- 3-36 +/- 3 Bq kg(-1) dw, for uncultivated sites the ranges for Po-210 and Pb-210 are 10 +/- 4-134 +/- 21 Bq kg(-1) dw and 23 +/- 3-78 +/- 5 Bq kg(-1) dw, respectively. In general, it is observed that the mean Po-210 and Pb-210 activity concentrations in cultivated sites are lower than the uncultivated sites. The relationships between soil properties and the activity concentrations of the radionuclides indicate that Po-210 and Pb-210 adsorption to soil is strongly related to organic matter content of the soil. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.