Washington, D.C. - Concerned about the public health threat posed by forgotten factory sites in his home state of Ohio and nationwide, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Monday requested a Senate committee hold a hearing on the EPA's ability to address the problem of lead contamination in soil.
USA Today's 14-month investigation exposed unsafe levels of lead in homes and parks that can cause health problems, especially in kids. Some of those sites are here in the Tampa Bay area.
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Some national environmental organizations expressed outrage that the EPA has known about the sites for years yet failed to warn people living nearby.
Meanwhile, regulators and health officials across the country continue to take actions as a result of the newspaper's investigation:
- In Atlanta, the EPA says it will test soil in a neighborhood around an old smelter site
- In Portland, Ore., officials also plan to do off-site sampling and conduct a public-education campaign
- In Cleveland, health officials have gone door-to-door handing out lead-poisoning prevention materials and are conducting air monitoring near a former smelter site
- Indiana officials plan to do soil sampling at a rural smelter site in their states.
The actions are in addition to those already under way in 14 states as a result of the investigation - even before the series was published.