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Lead contamination worries in Upper Ringwood

June 10, 2011 2:26:33 PM PDT
The signs are very clear. There is danger here.

The problem is for decades people living right near dumping sites in Upper Ringwood had no idea chemicals were seeping into the water and food supply.

"Benzine, cadmium, lead and all these different things like that, and they bring problems," resident Roger Degroat said.

Problems like cancer.

Degroat has lived here his whole life, and raised 9 children.

He is not at all happy with the clean up progress or the results of the latest EPA testing.

Ten out of 19 homes tested came back positive for levels of lead that far exceed the safety standard.

There are so many homes and so many children living feet from this superfund site, but people here are happy with new recommendations from state health officials: All children in this area should be tested for lead in their blood.

A statement sent to us by the Department of Health and Senior Services reads in part, "We are focused on children age 6 and under because they are most susceptible to the effects of lead and are more likely to become exposed to lead in soil."

Vivian Milligan runs a community group keeping its eye on the site and the clean

"Some of us are adults now, but as children we could have been affected too," she said.

When Roger was young, he would hike and play in the dumping area. Now he thinks about all his friends who died in their 30's and 40's of cancer.

He also worries about his 9 children, especially his 2 year old.

"Let's get them all tested. That should be done. Should have been done a long time ago," he said.

The Department of Health and Senior Services says once they have details on where and when the testing will be done, there will be a major outreach effort.


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