Officials Issue Warning After Discovering What More Than 10,000 Families Were Exposed To

Families are panicking after reports went public about a serious contamination problem in their area. An old chemical plant, near Los Angeles, had apparently been leaking highly toxic fumes. The plant had been shut down in 2015, but it left behind chemicals in the soil and the air that could be affecting people as far as five miles away.

More than 10,000 families are at risk of being exposed to poisons such as lead, benzene and arsenic due to traces of the chemicals in the air and soil. The chemicals extended out, settling over lawns where children play and soil where adults garden. The chemical disaster is being called worse than the one that occurred in Flint, Michigan due to chemical contamination in the water. The contamination in Flint resulted in a severe water shortage, outrageous water bills threatening to bankrupt families, and the city doesn’t even expect to have 25 percent of it cleaned up by 2020.

The chemicals attack the bodies organs, including the brain, and central nervous system if inhaled or ingested. LA families being exposed can develop brain damage, decreased IQ, learning disabilities, headaches, dizziness, tremors, skin irritation, rashes, dark skin patches, eye irritation, digestive problems.

Children, in particular, are at risk because their brains and central nervous systems are still developing. It may stunt children's growth and cognitive development. Chemicals build up and are stored in the organs. A woman with a toxin build-up who becomes pregnant can pass an abundance on to the unborn child. The contamination may result in birth defects or miscarriage.

Enough exposure can result in a coma or prove fatal if the chemicals attack the nervous system. The chemicals also put people at risk for developing several different types of cancers.

The problem has been known to the city since 2014. Clean-up efforts were initiated, but according to residents, it's slow-going and has been ineffective. Residences tested within a mile-and-a-half radius of the plant were tested, and results showed that 98 percent of the homes had high levels of lead.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control plans on implementing a contamination clean-up of 2,500 homes within a two-mile radius of the plant. The efforts would be carried out over the next two years, which have many people living and raising children close to the plant concerned about the length of time they will be exposed to the toxins.

Even more frustrated are the people who live just beyond a two-mile radius, who probably won't get any help at all. At this point, the city doesn't have a plan to help decontaminate the neighborhood beyond that two-mile radius, leaving many residents at a loss for what to do. Contaminations were found at homes as far as five miles away.

"I'm a little frustrated," said Carlos Jimenez, a local, to CBS News. "I just hope they come back to the rest of us and give us a chance to have our houses cleaned up as well."

At this point, there are no plans for that to happen, and residents are calling for swifter and broader actions to combat the potentially deadly problem.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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