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July 30, 2012

Staff from DHEC visited the Edisto Court/Rosewood community in Columbia on Monday, July 30 and distributed the following information:

DHEC recently became aware of the presence of lead and arsenic on the site of what was an old fertilizer plant near your house.

Both lead and arsenic are naturally occurring in South Carolina soils and rocks. Both also have historical uses that added to the naturally occurring levels in our state. For example, lead has historically been used in home water pipes, in paints and as an additive in gasoline; and arsenic was historically used as a pesticide on certain agricultural crops. We have found levels above what could be naturally occurring in this area.

On Wednesday, July 25, SC DHEC collected soil samples from right-of-ways on your street and/or from your residence. The samples were analyzed for lead and arsenic. 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
  • Don'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 - or wet down dirt areas prior to mowing

DHEC will continue to work with the community as we further assess this area. If you have questions, please contact Karen Sprayberry at 896-9730.