Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lead Levels in Children Down at Bunker Hill Superfund Site

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Revegetation at Magnet Gulch at the Bunker Hill Superfund site. - ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY/CAMI GRANDINETTI
  • Environmental Protection Agency/Cami Grandinetti
  • Revegetation at Magnet Gulch at the Bunker Hill Superfund site.

A study conducted last year by the Panhandle Health District has some good news for children in the Bunker Hill EPA Superfund cleanup site, the Coeur d'Alene Press reports.

The number of children with blood lead levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter has clocked in at 2 percent—down from 57 percent in 1989.

According to Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Director Curt Fransen, those levels are now "consistent with national averages."

"[The cleanup] has been successful and the blood lead data back that up," Fransen told the Press.

That's significant, since blood lead levels there were once among the highest recorded in the United States.

Lead became a contaminant at the 21-square-mile site around the city of Kellogg—nicknamed "the box"—after mining operations in the Silver Valley exposed lead, arsenic, zinc and cadmium over the course of a century.

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