Harvey victims living near Superfund sites asked to participate in study

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In a town hall meeting in Highlands Wednesday night residents were being urged to wear masks gloves and protective clothing while cleaning their homes and property of storm debris.

"We have residents that ask me is the mud that's in my home that I'm cleaning out is it safe and I don't know," said Jackie Young with Texas Health and Environmental Alliance.

It's a question no one can definitely answer.

Residents are surrounded by Superfund sites including one that has yet to be remediated.

We are deeply concerned about the integrity of the San Jacinto Waste Pits," Young said. "We have seen discoloration in people's yards we've literally seen balls of mercury wash up in people's yards."

Residents are being asked to wear wrist bands.

It's for a study being conducted by Oregon State University U.T. Health Baylor College of Medicine and Texas A&M University.

"They will wear the wrist band for a week. At the end of that week, funding pending, we will be analyzing those wrist bands and be able to determine over the week what that individual was exposed to," said Peter Hoffman with Oregon University.

A follow-up test will be done in 6 months to a year to determine what chemicals are Hurricane related.

 

"Right now we do not clearly know the extent of the potential damage to the waste pits and we fear what could be going on under the river's water," Young said.

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