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EPA to begin East Chicago lead soil testing; information meetings March 22 - 23

Release Date: 03/20/2006
Contact Information: Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050,

No. 06-OPA035

(CHICAGO - March 20, 2006) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will begin an investigation this spring to see if the soil in some East Chicago, Ind., residential yards contains lead contamination. EPA officials will host a pair of informal open house-style meetings to explain the lead sampling project and answer questions from East Chicago residents. On Wednesday, March 22, from 3 to 6 p.m., EPA officials will be at Washington Elementary School, 1401 E. 144th St., and then on Thursday, March 23, 3 – 6 p.m., officials will hold a similar meeting at Carrie Gosch School, 445 W. 148th St.

EPA needs permission from residents to collect small soil samples for laboratory analysis. Residents in the area between East Chicago Avenue and 151st Street, and between Aster Street and Parrish Avenue are now being contacted by mailings and door-to-door visits. A fact sheet explaining the project is available on the web at or from EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Joe Munoz by calling (312) 886-7935 or e-mailing him at Residents who need special accommodations to attend the meetings should also contact Munoz.

The sampling work will all be done outside and at no cost to residents. Lead is a heavy metal and often occurs naturally in the soil. Low-level lead contamination is common in urban areas because of the widespread use of lead in man-made products and industrial processes.

EPA is concerned that airborne lead emissions from local industries may have settled in area yards over many decades. Exposure to high lead levels can cause a range of health problems and is associated with learning disabilities in young children.

Access the online version of the fact sheet here: (PDF, 5pp, 353K, About PDF;

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