More than 1,000 residents in the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana, are currently being exposed to dangerously high levels of lead pollution in the soil surrounding their homes according to a letter they received from Mayor Anthony Copeland. The mayor advised residents that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the ground was “highly contaminated with lead and arsenic”. Some reports indicate lead concentrations in the West Calumet Housing Complex exceed 1,200 parts per million. Per the EPA the acceptable threshold for lead presence in soil is 400 parts per million. Children should be restricted access to soil that tests higher than 400 parts per million. The West Calumet Housing Complex is home to approximately 680 children.
Concerned residents are taking legal action against the East Chicago Housing Authority and the East Chicago Health Department for not taking the appropriate steps to ensure their health and safety was safeguarded. Media reports state that the EPA was aware of this public health crisis as early as 1992. Children under the age of six are most at risk for serious injuries from lead poisoning. Symptoms include learning difficulties, vomiting, abdominal pain, developmental delays, slowed growth, fatigue, headaches, and numbness. Cohen & Malad, LLP personal injury attorneys are representing people who live in this area and have been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in the soil surrounding their homes. Contact us for more information.