In a follow up to a story titled “Ghost Factories: Poison in the Ground”, USA Today reports that high levels of lead have been found in the soil of a former foundry in Newport, KY. Families live just a few doors away.
Soil tests done by The Kentucky Division of Waste Management show levels of lead that are seven times the standard for industrial properties.
Lead factories operated from the 1930′s to the 1960′s before danger from lead particles was known and environmental safety regulations put in place. Hundreds of these abandoned factories exist, but little to no testing has been done to ensure the safety of families living nearby. Earlier this month, six senators wrote to the EPA asking that these sites to checked for health risks.
Neighbors of the former plant were unaware of any issues until the latest findings were released.
Further testing will be done on the soil in Newport to determine the extent of the contamination. Officials in Portland, OR are preparing to begin soil tests at the site of another former lead factory.
The current owners of the Kentucky site, L&H Tool and Die, will be held responsible for the clean up though there has been no smelting done on the property for 50 years.
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