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Air tests show no risk for homes near toxic plume

ST. PETERSBURG — A second round of tests of the air inside homes around the site of a toxic underground plume from the Raytheon plant found nothing alarming, Florida Department of Health scientists said Monday.

Air samples taken inside nine homes and condominiums in the neighborhood came back negative for chemicals from the site, Susan Skye, a scientist with the state Department of Health, reported in September. However, four of the tests disappeared in shipping, so they had to be repeated.

None of the new air tests found any sign of the chemicals in the Raytheon plume, she said Monday.

"There is no imminent health risk," she said, so there will be no further tests.

The pollution originated from a drum storage area on land that then belonged to a company called E-Systems. Tests found a plume of chemicals in the groundwater beneath the site. When Raytheon bought E-Systems in 1995, it inherited the problem but did little beyond monitoring it.

In 1999, tests showed the plume had begun moving toward residential neighborhoods near Azalea Park, but most residents were not notified about it until earlier this year.

Raytheon has proposed a cleanup plan. DEP officials said they are still reviewing the plan to see if it will be approved.

Air tests show no risk for homes near toxic plume 11/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 2:52pm]
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