How did chemicals get in water near two Evansville schools?
An environmental consultant working on the cleanups says neither school is at risk.
Amy Hood, a resident of a home next door to one of the contaminated sites, says she has struggled with neurological health effects similar to those that might be caused by the chemicals, as well as cancer, and she wonders if there is a connection.
"In our industry (dry cleaning) this is a known issue," Clayton says.
According to a history of the Washington Avenue site in IDEM records, Clayton’s purchased the business there from another dry cleaner in 1956 and continued operations at the site until 1982.
Troy Risk’s 2009 description of the Washington Avenue site for IDEM says TCE in groundwater there was up to 200 times the safe level and PCE was 80 times the safe level.
At issue is exposure to chemical vapors accumulating at potentially harmful levels inside buildings above the contaminated groundwater, according to IDEM records.
A biology teacher, Hood says she is enough of a scientist to understand she can’t directly link her exposure to the chemicals to her cancer.
The cancer isn’t the only health problem Hood says she experienced since moving back into the house, which she grew up in and purchased from her parents in 2006.
Although Clayton sold his family business to Don’s Cleaners in 2004, ownership of the actual properties stayed with Clayton.
Most of the contaminated groundwater at the site is moving southwest across Washington Avenue, Neeley says.