EPA finds high lead levels in Chicago yards

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal officials have discovered high lead levels in yards on Chicago's southeast side during searches for another toxic metal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent crews to the East Side neighborhood to look for manganese, a brain-damaging metal handled by at least four nearby facilities.

A map posted online by the EPA shows nearly half of the 73 residential properties analyzed during the past six months are tainted by manganese at levels exceeding Illinois' standard for cleaning up former industrial sites.

But the Chicago Tribune reports the EPA also found high lead levels in nearly two-thirds of those properties.

Ingesting even small amounts of lead can cause brain damage in children.

The EPA will likely add the area to a list of neighborhoods where it's overseeing removal of tainted soils.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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