MS Coast In Danger
Toxicologist: Arsenic Levels In Soil Are Not Dangerous
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi Poison Control Center director Doctor Robert Cox said there are no findings to support claims of dangerous levels of arsenic in the soil on the coast.
Cox was responding to claims by Wilma Subra, a chemist who last week said arsenic levels were dangerously high.
Subra said she came to work along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and has taken soil samples in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Alabama.
She said 90 percent of the samples have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for arsenic.
Chemist Finds High-Level Of Arsenic In Katrina's Wake
POSTED: 9:07 am CDT July 31, 2006
UPDATED: 9:14 am CDT July 31, 2006
BILOXI, Miss. -- A chemist said soil samples taken in the wakes of hurricanes Katrina and Rita show dangerously high levels of arsenic in some areas along the coast.
Wilma Subra said she believes arsenic, other heavy metals and bacteria in the soils of coastal areas battered by hurricanes last year are causing residents to become sick with unexplained illnesses.
Some who attended a meeting organized by the Outreach of Love to publicize Subra's findings said they or their family members are suffering from unexplained health problems.
Subra said 90 percent of the samples taken in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for arsenic.
She found the highest levels in Mississippi at Moss Point, Gulfport and Pearlington, where arsenic is at levels 27 times beyond what the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality considers safe.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.