Residents near Black Leaf chemical plant will soon be tested - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Residents near Black Leaf chemical plant will soon be tested

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More than a year after dangerous chemicals are found in some Park Hill yards, people will be tested to see if these chemicals are effecting their health. More than a year after dangerous chemicals are found in some Park Hill yards, people will be tested to see if these chemicals are effecting their health.
Councilman David James Councilman David James
Sheryl Elliot Sheryl Elliot
Marvin Hayes Marvin Hayes

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – More than a year after dangerous chemicals are found in some Park Hill yards, people will be tested to see if these chemicals are effecting their health.

This concerns the people who live around what used to be the Black Leaf pesticide plant. It's been closed for decades and was a EPA superfund clean up site.

District 6 Louisville Metro Councilman David James has set aside some neighborhood development funds to help pay for the medical testing. There is enough for 100 people to be tested. University of Louisville doctors will test for arsenic and lead. 
 
Just go up and down St. Louis Avenue and you'll see people sitting outside and children having fun doing what any would on mild August day, but in this neighborhood it's different.

Nearly every yard on this street has tested positive for a long list of dangerous chemicals and it all stems back to the now abandoned Black Leaf pesticide manufacturing facility. 

"The thing is that company needs to go because as long as that company is there the rain just washes it back down to where we are at," said Sheryl Elliot, resident. 

A barrier has now been placed around the plant to try to prevent rain from carrying the chemicals, but the jury's still out on if that's enough. The EPA will soon begin removing contaminated soil at more than 60 properties surrounding the site. 

Marvin Hayes' yard is one of them. He's lived next to the plant since 1981. "Now we need to find out if these high levels that is in the ground is in our systems," said Hayes.

Hayes says while living in his home his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's an eight year survivor, but Hayes sometimes wonders with no family history could the chemicals have something to do with. Others in the neighborhood have thought the same thing. 

"I've gotten up and there is nothing wrong with me, but I've thrown up and I've got dizziness and I don't know if it is from the soil or what, but it is a big concern," said Hayes. 

University of Louisville doctors will perform the tests to see if any further medical attention is needed.

"I wonder about the chemicals," said James. "I wonder about how they are affecting people. Not only does it affect the people, it affects the property value, it affects the entire quality of life that they have and so we need to find a solution to this and pretty quickly.

Right now children are not included in this study, which is a big concern for a lot of parents. Councilman James says that is something they are looking into, but they want to go ahead and test the adults to see if there is a major concern. 

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