July 17, 2009

Yakima schools combat contaminants with dirt

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Two elementary schools in Yakima are getting new layers of dirt for their playgrounds to cover arsenic- and lead- tainted soil, reports Adriana Janovich of the Yakima Herald-Republic. The contaminants stem from pesticides once used on orchards that grew on the sites on which the schools were built. Lead can cause neurological problems with chronic exposure, and arsenic is a known carcinogen, according to the EPA. The levels  at both schools exceed the EPA’s maximum limits. Construction is being done during the summer to prevent distractions to students, but the other six local schools in need of work will have to wait until at least next summer.

– Emily Linroth

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