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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As families in North Birmingham learn their yards are contaminated with toxins, they welcome news there will be blood testing of children and pregnant women. The Environmental Protection Agency has been testing soil at hundreds of homes for months to see how far and wide contamination concerns are.
Our Investigative Team has learned that hundreds of properties have elevated lead levels that may qualify for cleanup. The EPA On-Scene Coordinator Rick Jardine says high lead levels are concerning for children and pregnant women. The EPA says elevated lead in a child’s system can cause behavior and learning issues and lead to low IQ scores.
Minnie McCurdy’s yard has been tested by the EPA and results show the lead in her back yard is five times the safe standard set by the EPA. McCurdy’s grandchildren play in her backyard regularly.
Jardine says they expected to find industrial contamination in the North Birmingham area considering Birmingham, “has been a heavy industrialized city for a century.”
The EPA has asked the Jefferson County Department of Health and the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry) to conduct two days of lead testing of blood. Lakeitha Payne welcomes the news of testing children and pregnant women, “We need to know what’s going on in these babies bodies.”
To view a flier with details on the free lead testing, please click here.
To view the entire Deadly Deception series, click here.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42