NewsHealth / August 24, 2016

EPA Finding Lead Inside Homes At Contaminated Indiana Site

A sign from the Environmental Protection Agency is posted in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses at East Chicago, Ind. - AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim

A sign from the Environmental Protection Agency is posted in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses at East Chicago, Ind.

AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is detecting high levels of lead in samples of dust and dirt tracked inside homes at a northwest Indiana public housing complex where soil is tainted with industrial contaminants.

EPA on-scene coordinator Brad Benning says dust samples have been taken from around 70 homes at the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana. He says about 40 have come back above the level considered safe.

The city of East Chicago is planning to demolish the low-income complex and has asked 1,000 residents to find new housing. Meantime, Benning says residents can greatly reduce indoor lead levels through regular cleaning.

Results released in May showed alarmingly high levels of lead in some yards. Most of the contamination is from a smelter that closed in 1985.

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