King County Dirt Alert Program
Why Should I Be Concerned About Dirt?
If you live in South King County, you may be in an area where the dirt is contaminated with higher levels of arsenic and lead. For almost 100 years, the ASARCO Company operated a copper smelter in Tacoma. Pollution from the smelter settled on the surface soil and will continue to be a health risk for years to come.
How Is Arsenic and Lead Harmful?
According to research studies, long-term exposure to arsenic and lead can cause heart diseases and different types of cancer. Lead can cause behavioral problems and permanent learning difficulties. Eating and breathing dust that contains arsenic and lead can contribute to poor health. Young children are at the highest risk because they put things in their mouths. A child’s brain and body are still developing and cannot get rid of toxins as quickly as an adult.
How Can I Protect Myself and My Family?
Here are “The Healthy Actions” to help reduce contact with contaminated dirt:
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Wash children’s toys and pacifiers frequently.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Mop and vacuum more than once a week.
- Take off your shoes at the door.
- Wear shoes and gloves when gardening and working outdoors.
Who Can I Contact if I Have Questions?
Free group presentations and children’s hand washing classes are also available. To schedule a presentation or for other assistance, please contact Hena Cho, Outreach Coordinator from Korean Women’s Association at: 425-761-1469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.