Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into houses from some types of soil. Elevated levels in a home increase the risk of lung cancer. A limited number of discounted tests are available for Blackford County. If you are interested, contact Indra at email@example.com. Kits are also available for $15 each by calling the radon info hotline 1-800-272-9723. Additional information is available at www.HealthHouse.org.
Blackford County Concerned Citizens, in partnership with the Hoosier Environmental Council, has tested soil at Southside Elementary, the Babe Ruth baseball field in Hartford City, and Montpelier’s Little League fields for heavy metals that might have been left behind by glass factories decades ago.
All of the soil samples from Montpelier and Southside Elementary School had the same levels of arsenic and lead as soil generally does in this part of Indiana. A few deposits of arsenic and lead were found at Hartford City’s baseball field, high enough to exceed Indiana’s residential standard, but well within the standard for recreational fields.
While the arsenic and lead levels found are within state recreational field standards, they are high enough that it’s worth exercising caution when you are at Hartford City’s baseball fields. BCCC recommends parents do a few simple things to limit exposure to the soil:
- Don’t let children get the soil in their mouths
- After spending time there, wash your hands and children’s hands
- Wash clothes that have soil on them (like baseball uniforms)
- Leave shoes that have been to the site at the door, don’t wear them into your home
Blackford County Concerned Citizens Forum:
Embracing Opportunities for Community Health, Part 1 in a series
Blackford County Concerned Citizens is taking action to address environmental health concerns raised by the community including testing soil and water and doing computer-based mapping. BCCC’s goal is to find and reduce environmental exposures that could increase the risk of cancer or neurologic disease.
Dr. Sherrie Steiner’s Environmental Sociology class from IU-Purdue Ft Wayne (IPFW) presented the three projects they worked on this semester:
- Video on the well testing project
- GIS maps of Blackford County’s industrial history
- Video on the collaboration between IPFW and Blackford County Concerned Citizens
Dr. Indra Frank, Environmental Health Project Director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, reported on health data for the county, the well testing project, and the project to test soil at sites where there used to be glass factories. Her presentation slides.
Cheryl Mathews, Director of Education and Client Services for Cancer Services of East Central Indiana – Little Red Door, described the support services available to cancer patients in Blackford County through her agency.
Joe Castelo, president of BCCC, gave a history of the organization and described how this work was funded by donations from supporters and a grant from the Blackford County Community Foundation. Joe asked attendees to consider renewing their support to continue BCCC’s work with a reminder that there is currently an opportunity for matching funds through the Blackford County Community Foundation.