EPA offers information, testing for lead contamination in Evansville
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency held an open house to take samples and provide information about lead and arsenic contamination.
The open house is an annual event to boost clean-up efforts in the Jacobsville neighborhood.
According to the EPA, industrial activities in the Jacobsville area dating back to the 1880s left most of Evansville’s soil at risk for lead and arsenic contamination.
Beth Reiner, who was at the open house, said they’ve been working to get rid of that.
“The USEPA has been out here for about 10 years,” she said. “We’ve been sampling residential properties within the superfund site.”
At the event, EPD officials told people how to avoid contamination. That includes washing hands, taking shoes off when indoors, and keeping your kids from ingesting dirt.
They said if your soil is tested and shows lead contamination, the EPA will come to excavate your yard and replace the soil, free of charge.
So far, officials said they’ve cleaned 4,000 properties, tested 6,000 of them, and they have 3,000 left to be tested in the Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination site.
Reiner stressed that it’s important for people to work with the EPA to get their homes checked.
“Please please really take a look and understand how important this is to get cleaned up,” she said. “Lead can really affect kids’ ability to learn.”
Public health agencies recommend lead testing for children who live in homes built before 1978 or if there are elevated levels of lead in the backyard.
The Vanderburgh County Health Department was there testing kids as the night went on, but it’s a service they provide year-round.
The open house also featured a demonstration for installing water filters. They said for sinks with an aeration filter, such as those found in a bathroom, an attachable filter works best. Separate filters that can hold water and be stored in a fridge or on the counter are best for kitchen sinks, especially if they have a hose attachment.
More information on the Jacobsville area superfund site can be found on the EPA’s website.
For soil sampling questions you can call Beth Reiner at 312-886-0170.
For soil cleanup questions you can call Brandon Pursel at 312-353-9229.
For blood lead testing at the Vanderburgh County Health Department, call 812-435-5568.
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