Project New Ground and Your Health
The major goal of Project New Ground is to protect the health of area residents and especially our children.
Ash that was deposited in various parts of our city long ago may cause health concerns for some residents today. Testing in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that some of the ash contained elevated levels of lead and could create potential public-health issues. The amount of lead in the soil is very small, though, and no unusual levels of lead have been found in area children who have been tested.
Special Concerns for Our Children
The Duval County Health Department has determined that health concerns are limited to children under the age of six. Project New Ground will reduce any potential threat to children by cleaning up the property and limiting future exposure.
Children under six years of age are more vulnerable to elevated levels of lead than adults are. But rest assured that the blood levels of lead among children tested in the Project New Ground areas are low. They are comparable to the rest of the county. Between August 1999 and April 2000, 349 area children were screened. Just five of them (1.4%) were found to have elevated levels of lead. And for two of those five children, the sources of the problem were traced back to the interiors of their homes. For the other three children, the sources could not be assessed.
Environmental Protection Agency Statement
The U.S. EPA has stated that levels of lead in the area soil are not at highly toxic levels and do not pose a significant threat to either people or the environment.
If you have any specific questions about how ash on your property may affect your health, please contact the Duval County Health Department at (904) 253-1000. You may also visit the website, http://www.dchd.net/.