Two banned chemicals persist in Cedar Rapids soil

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Two banned chemicals have shown up in Cedar Rapids soil samples but at levels below the Iowa maximum allowance.

A University of Iowa study found polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which had been used as an electrical coolant; and chlordane, which had been used as an insecticide.

Both have been barred by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as dangers to health.

The Gazette says the university researchers sampled soil in Cedar Rapids residential areas in August 2008, two months after the epic flooding.

Principal investigator Keri Hornbuckle says she wanted to see the effects of the flood on chemical concentrations. Hornbuckle says results showed concentration levels similar in and outside the flooded areas.

State toxicologist Stuart Schmitz says the concentrations found wouldn’t raise health risks at all.