Radcliff family leaves home after arsenic poisoning

Adults and children alike in one Hardin County home are the source of a medical mystery.
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT

RADCLIFF, Ky. (WAVE) - Adults and children alike in one Hardin County home are the source of a medical mystery.

They say they have all been poisoned by something that shouldn’t be in the house.

“What do we do in a situation like this?,” mother Elizabeth Baker said. “We don’t know. We’re going as we go, we’re learning as we go.”

What she learned is that everyone in her family has elevated levels of arsenic.

Test results Baker shared show the four children, ages six to 15, have 30 to 60 percent more arsenic in their systems than normal. The grandfather’s test came back showing arsenic more than 8 times higher than normal.

The CDC describes arsenic-related ailments ranging from skin disorders to neuropathy to cancer.

”Most of my feet went numb, and they’re still numb to this day,” grandfather James Stover said. “My right hand went numb, I’ve been dry heaving. Like I said before, I’ve been real sick.”

Where they were exposed to arsenic is a mystery to the family.

The house they have shared for three years is where their suspicions start. The most likely source of arsenic exposure would be the water.

But a state test of a water sample revealed there was no contamination.

“We started with the water,” father Joshua Sparks said. “And the environmentalist came out and checked it and said it was fine. So now we have no idea.”

The lack of answers led the family to abandon their Radcliff house. They felt they had no other options.

“Just to get out of here,” Sparks said. “That’s my first and only step that I got to do now.”

”Not knowing the source or where it’s coming from, we have no idea.” Baker said. “It’s been going for 4 months now and we still don’t know. On Sunday night, all seven members of the family shared a single hotel room.

On Monday, they were reaching out to realtors as well as churches and charitable organizations. The family also created a GoFundMe collecting donations for moving expenses.

Sparks said his family may need temporary shelter until they find a new home.

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