UI students test Cedar Rapids’ soil for pollutants


Downtown Cedar Rapids Photo by Chepner, Flickr

University of Iowa engineer students, led by professor Keri Hornbuckle, published the finding of their study on Cedar Rapids’ residential soil samples. The students tested samples to determine their levels of PCBs and chlordane pollutants.

The study found that the pollutants’ levels were comparable to similar areas around the world, and were near the level where the EPA recommends remediation.

PCBs are a family of chemicals that were used for manufacturing many products up till its use was banned in 1979. PCBs are carcinogens, and have also been linked to other health issues involving the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system and endocrine system.

Cholordane is a compound that was used in the U.S. as a pesticide up until 1988. Chlordane has been linked to a similar set of health effects as PCBs, including cancer.

For more information of the study, view the UI press release here.

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