Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 21st, 2007 06:22 EST
Final Report on Arsenic in East Omaha

Final Report on Arsenic in East Omaha

By SOP newswire

ATLANTA - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a final report about elevated levels of arsenic in East Omaha, Neb. The public health consultation found elevated levels of arsenic in more than 700 properties in East Omaha.

This final version includes comments received from the public in 2005 and ATSDR`s responses to these comments.

High levels of arsenic might pose a health concern for some children and adults. The public health consultation presents ATSDR findings about the site and offers recommendations to protect health and prevent exposure.

Arsenic levels above 70 parts per million are considered elevated; exposure to arsenic in soil above these levels is a concern for preschool children who eat soil while playing, this is called soil-pica behavior. After eating about one teaspoon of soil with high levels of arsenic, children may become sick. Also, adults who are exposed to elevated levels of arsenic in soil over several decades might have an increased risk for cancer of the skin, lungs, bladder, kidney and liver. 

ATSDR makes the following recommendations to reduce and prevent arsenic exposure:

  • Identify children with soil-pica behavior and prevent them from eating soil.
  • Do not eat or drink when gardening or playing outside.
  • Wet-mop floors and clean window sills with wet rags.
  • Leave shoes at the door.
  • Wash your hands and children`s hands often.

The health consultation, fact sheets and other information about the site are available online at Copies of the consultation are also available at the following locations:

  • South Branch Library, 2302 M St., Omaha, NE
  • W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St., Omaha, NE
  • Charles B. Washington Branch Library 4401 N. 21st St., Omaha, NE
  • Chicano Awareness Center, 4821 S. 24th St., Omaha, NE
  • Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, 2240 Landon Ct., Omaha, NE
  • Southern Sudan Community Association  , 4819 Dodge St., Omaha, NE                               
  • Fred LeRoy-Ponca Tribe, 2602 J St., Omaha, NE
  • Voices for Children in Nebraska, 7521 Main St., Suite 103, Omaha, NE
  • Hope Medical Service, 2566 Saint Mary`s Ave., Omaha, NE
  • Juan Diego Center Catholic Charities, 5211 S. 31st St., Omaha, NE
  • Catholic Charities, 300 N. 60th St., Omaha, NE
  • Iglesia de Dios-Fraternidad Cristiana, 1001 N. Fort Crook Rd. Suites 119-120, Bellevue, NE
  • EPA Region 7 Records Center, 901 N. 5th St Kansas City, KS

Members of the community who have questions about this health consultation may contact Toxicologist David Mellard at 404-498-0443 or; or Health Communication Specialist Yolonda Freeman at 404-498-0317 or ATSDR Regional Representative Sue Casteel can also be contacted at 913-551-1314. More information on ATSDR activities regarding arsenic in soil in East Omaha is available online

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.