Sludge Tested in Poor Neighborhoods as Lead Poisoning Fix

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Researchers have been using sludge to test
whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil.
Scientists using federal grants spread the sludge with the
permission of nine low-income families in Baltimore row houses. The
families agreed to let researchers till the sewage sludge into
their yards and plant new grass.
Researchers say the families were assured the sludge was safe,
but were not told that there have been some safety disputes and
health complaints over sludge.
The Baltimore study concluded that phosphate and iron in sludge
can increase the ability of soil to trap more harmful metals
including lead, cadmium and zinc, causing the combination to pass
safely through a child's body if eaten.
An Associated Press review of grant documents found no evidence
of any medical follow-up.

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