Indiana Daily Student

City officials say samples show minimal lead levels following controlled burn

<p>The site where the Bloomington Fire Department conducted a controlled burn is seen Nov. 10, 2021, at 1213 S. High St. Weeks ago, experts warned early samples showed a high amount of lead in the area.</p>

The site where the Bloomington Fire Department conducted a controlled burn is seen Nov. 10, 2021, at 1213 S. High St. Weeks ago, experts warned early samples showed a high amount of lead in the area.

Weeks ago, experts warned early samples showed a high amount of lead after the Bloomington Fire Department completed a controlled burn training exercise on Nov 5. Now, city officials say soil samples taken from the most-affected areas do not contain dangerous amounts of lead. 

The Environmental Protection Agency describes lead levels of 400 or more parts per million to be dangerous to humans. None of the samples contained more than 200 ppm of lead, according to a press release from the city. 

VET Environmental Engineering, a Bloomington-based company, collected and tested the samples at an independent laboratory. 

Homes in the affected area can rake their leaves to the side of the road to have them disposed of. Unlike normal procedures, the city will not compost these leaves out of an abundance of caution, according to the release. 

“Homeowners should be able to proceed with fall lawn care as they normally would,” Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill said in the press release. 

There were 94 Bloomington firefighters involved in the controlled burn training exercise. Some of them have had their blood tested for lead and the results of those tests will be released to the public in the future,  the press release said. 

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