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Education


EPA tests for dangerous chemicals at Cuyahoga Falls school
Cancer-causing chemicals could be rising out of the groundwater on parish property
Story by LYNDSEY SCHLEY


 
The EPA is testing for chemicals at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish School is Cuyahoga Falls.
Courtesy of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish School
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The Ohio EPA is collecting samples to check whether cancer-causing gases are seeping into a Cuyahoga Falls school and parish.

Linda Oros of the Ohio EPA says crews are testing the air at the Immaculate Heart of Mary grade school. She says a plume of toxic chemicals got into the groundwater and migrated to the school property. It was discovered during construction on the new Portage Crossing development on State Road.

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“The plume that we’re talking about is something that has contaminants of concern, Trichloroethylene and Tetrachloroethylene or PCE," Oros says. "They’re non-flammable man-made solvents. They’re used to remove grease from metal parts and in the case of PCE, typically it’s dry-cleaning material.”

Oros says the school does not use the groundwater, but the chemicals could evaporate and enter the air. She says these chemicals are carcinogens and can cause lung irritation.

Oros says the school is on spring break and the EPA will wrap up testing within the week. She says the school could end up installing a ventilation system, similar to those used to draw radon gas out of houses.

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