ALACHUA COUNTY - The Health Department reviewed the dioxin test results of 6 additional surface soil samples collected in June from the right-of-ways of NW 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd Avenues. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required this additional testing 200 feet west of the Koppers hazardous waste site after finding potentially hazardous levels of dioxins in the City easement along the site boundary. The levels of dioxins in some samples are above the State residential standards. Previous testing in February 2009 from approximately 100 feet west of the border of the Koppers site found levels of dioxins, arsenic and benzo-a-pyrene above state residential standards.
Incidental ingestion (swallowing) of very small amounts of dioxin contaminated surface soil at these six locations is not likely to cause harm. The Health Department continues to recommend area residents practice good general hygiene including hand washing with soap and water after contact with bare soil in areas within 200' west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence.
These test results do not affect the current Health Department Advisory. The Health Department continues to recommend that children should avoid playing in the 15'-20' City of Gainesville easement just west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence between NW 26 Avenue and NW 30 Avenue. Children under the age of six are at a higher risk of exposure from incidental ingestion (swallowing).
The Health Department will continue to evaluate the health risks as more test data becomes available.
For more information, contact Alachua County Health Department Environmental Health Director Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7930.
For toxicology information, contact the Florida Department of Health, Health Assessment Team Leader Randy Merchant toll free at 877 798-2772. To contact Scott Miller, United States Environmental Protection Agency Section Chief in charge of this Superfund Site project, call 404-562-9120
To view the press release concerning the upcoming August 31, 2009 joint Alachua County/City of Gainesville Commissions meeting click here
The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.