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Bloomington provides update after controlled burn of home with lead paint

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Posted at 8:24 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 20:24:01-05

BLOOMINGTON — Soil samples collected and tested after a controlled burn of a home with lead-based paint do not contain levels exceeding state limits requiring action, according to the City of Bloomington.

None of the samples, collected by VET Environmental Engineering after the controlled burn on Nov. 5, exceeded 200 parts per million for lead, according to a press release from the city. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires action if the lead levels exceed 400 parts per million.

Consultants said people in the affected areas can rake leaves to the edge of their property and city workers will vacuum them, according to the release.

Before the leaves are disposed of in a landfill, the city is waiting for test results from samples taken from leaf piles around the area, according to the release. The results are expected this week. As a caution, leaves will not be composted, as per usual practice.

Homes designated with a "Proud Pilot Participant" sign can rake leaves to the curb for collection as well.

Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill said fall lawn care can be done with little to no risk if residents wear gloves, wash up after and "perhaps" wear a mask.

“We have consulted with public health officials and based on the current data and work completed, the homeowners should be able to proceed with fall lawn care as they normally would,” Caudill said in the release.

Residents who find visible paint flakes can dispose of them in normal household trash, according to the release.

Blood samples were collected to test for elevated lead levels from firefighters who were operating at the controlled burn, according to the release. Firefighters are being trained to offer testing through a continued partnership with the county health department.

VET Environmental Engineering, Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. and the city worked to evaluate and or remediate 111 properties, according to the release.

Once the city receives all of the test results, it plans to release a "comprehensive written report" with the results for review.

More information about the controlled burn and response is available on the city's website.