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Hundreds of Homes in Former Lead Mining District Found to Have High Soil Lead Levels

EMSL Analytical provides environmental testing services to identify lead exposure risks from soil, water, dust, paint and other sources to protect people from exposure hazards.

St. Louis, MO – WEBWIRE

Earlier this year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Fact Sheet about lead testing and remediation of contaminated soil in Washington County, Missouri. EPA Region 7 has been working on remediating yards within the Washington County Lead District (WCLD) National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Sites, whose boundaries have covered the entire county for years.

According to the EPA, the WCLD sites are part of the Old Lead Belt in southeastern Missouri, which was one of the world’s largest lead mining districts. Mining began in the early 1700s and produced more than 9 million tons of lead. Extensive lead and barite mining, milling and smelting activities were conducted in the WCLD for over 200 years, where contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater with elevated levels of heavy metals, primarily lead, prompted the need for state and EPA involvement. Some county residents have also unknowingly purchased lead-contaminated soil and/or gravel for use in yards, driveways, parking areas and playgrounds.

So far over 6,300 residential yards have been sampled to determine lead levels and over 600 yards have been cleaned up. Hundreds, if not more, property owners still need to have their yards tested and hundreds who have already been found to have contaminated soil are currently waiting to have the soil removed and replaced in their yards. 

“Unfortunately, there are similar cases all across the country where homes and communities were built where former mine activity, landfills or industrial facilities that contaminated the ground and/or groundwater face exposure hazards to lead and other contaminants,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Children and others playing in the soil, gardening, tracking the dirt indoors, and breathing lead-tainted dusts from these areas could be at risk. Anyone drinking water with high lead levels are also exposing themselves to this toxic heavy metal.”

Those concerned about the potential presence of lead, other heavy metals or chemical contaminants in their soil or water can find out if they are at risk through testing offered by EMSL Analytical, Inc. Their laboratories offer comprehensive and affordable environmental testing solutions, sampling supplies and test kits. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about possible signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children that can be seen at:

To learn more about lead or other environmental, indoor air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email . For access to test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Lead In Soil

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