EPA: Toxins in soil 'should not' harm north Birmingham community

EPA: Toxins in soil 'should not' harm north Birmingham community

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EPA conducted several tests in the last eight years to determine if chemicals from nearby plants were affecting surrounding soil. Source: WBRC video EPA conducted several tests in the last eight years to determine if chemicals from nearby plants were affecting surrounding soil. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The results are in: the EPA says the levels of toxic substances found in one Birmingham community should not harm people who live there.

The group evaluated samples from Collegeville and revealed their findings to residents at a meeting Tuesday night.

Dr. Mark Evans says the toxic levels are elevated but not enough to do much harm.

"Based on the data we evaluated....exposure to soil, specifically arsenic and benzo, aren't a hazard to people's health with the possible exception of a child eating a large amount of soil intentionally from the areas with the highest areas of concentration," he said.

And by large Evans means about half a teaspoon. Still, Mary Cotton and other residents worry that nearby plants like Walter coke are affecting their health.

"I think this area is very polluted with different chemicals and more than likely has affected us a great deal," Cotton said.

Cotton herself has asthma and bronchitis she feels there's not much else residents can do but trust what they're being told.

Evans says communities like Collegeville can reduce exposure to toxins including washing hands and feet after being outdoors and washing produce from home gardens.

Click here to read more about testing in the Collegeville area.

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