COLUMBIA (WACH) - Last week, South Carolina health and environmental officials announced that elevated levels of arsenic and lead were found at a Columbia asphalt plant site.
Staff from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) visited the Rosewood community in Columbia today and distributed information to residents in the area.
DHEC says both lead and arsenic are naturally occurring in South Carolina soils and rocks, but levels above what could naturally occur have been detected.
The site near Columbia's Rosewood neighborhood was once home to a fertilizer plant before SEACO opened in 1949.
Officials said contamination in the groundwater at the site will not impact the Congaree River.
Investigators began taking soil samples from Rosewood area yards last Tuesday.
Based on the results of the preliminary samples, SC DHEC recommends the following precautions:
Wash your hands before eating or sleeping Wash your hands after playing or working in the yard Donâ??t let children eat dirt Limit the amount of dust entering your home by keeping windows and doors closed Use a damp mop instead of sweeping inside Wipe off window sills, table tops and other surfaces that children can reach or that are used for eating When mowing the lawn, avoid running the mower over patches of dirt â?? or wet down dirt areas prior to mowing
WACH Fox spoke with area residents who said they are not overly concerned about the situation.