Soil Contamination and Possible Threats to Human Health
In 2007, the city of Salisbury, North Carolina, purchased a piece of land that was the location of a former service station. The property had been given a clean bill of health in 1991 and again in 2007 just before the property was purchased.
Last year, the city began site preparations to build a new central office for the local schools when soil contamination was found. It turns out seven underground storage tanks (USTs) were still on the property in addition to the seven that had already been removed by prior owners.
It is unclear if the groundwater has been impacted, but already 3,500 tons of contaminated soil has been removed. What was initially expected to be a $35,000 cleanup operation has grown to an estimated $500,000.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Soil contamination results when hazardous substances are either spilled or buried directly in the soil or migrate to the soil from a spill that has occurred elsewhere.” The agency goes on to report, “Contaminants in the soil can adversely impact the health of animals and humans when they ingest, inhale, or touch contaminated soil, or when they eat plants or animals that have themselves been affected by soil contamination.”
One company that has been helping to identify contaminants in soils is EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL has a network of laboratories across North America providing sampling supplies and testing services to identify pollutants that are a threat to humans and the environment.
“People can be exposed to contaminated soils in many ways,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “By simply touching contaminated soils it can in some circumstances allow certain chemicals to be absorbed through people’s skin. In other circumstances, contaminated soil particles can become airborne and inhaled. EMSL has the expertise to assist with testing supplies and cutting edge laboratory procedures to help identify contaminated soils.”
To learn more about soil testing or other environmental or indoor air quality (IAQ) services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.