Protecting our children shouldn't be this difficult
This is what it's come to: In a neighborhood in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, residents are being advised to avoid all contact with dirt and dust. The soil in Durrs is so contaminated with toxic chemicals resulting from a garbage incinerator that, for years, blanketed the future sites of buildings, yards and parks with a layer of ash.
Here's a money quote for you:
City officials repeatedly have stressed that a report on the site claims the level of contamination found does not present a public health hazard, although people are warned against breathing the dust. [Emphasis mine]Boy, that sounds on the up-and-up. "No really, it's fine! We promise! Just don't breathe, okay?"
Soil in come areas of the neighborhood contains 240 parts per trillion dioxin -- one of the most toxic chemicals in existence and a potent carcinogen. According to state law, the dioxin levels are 34 times those that should trigger a cleanup.
But so far there is no cleanup, because no one -- not the city or the state -- is willing to pay for them. An attorney has pressed charges on behalf of residents of Durrs, but in a neighborhood where children can't play in the park without risking exposure to toxic chemicals it should not take a lawsuit to get the mess cleaned up.
The attorney pressing charges calls it "disgusting," and she's right. It's also absolutely shameful.
Photo by Remuse.