School officials are not alarmed test results show arsenic

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A report published on the New Hanover County School's website has test results showing high levels of arsenic and iron at Castle Hayne Elementary.

Tests were performed on the soil and groundwater near the elementary school and the new Holly Shelter Middle School after many parents expressed concern about the schools being located near an EPA superfund site.

Test results show signs of arsenic on school property

The exceeding levels of arsenic and iron have many people alarmed, but Principal Margaret Dickens assures parents the EPA and consultants say there is no reason to worry about health concerns.

UNCW Geochemist Dr. Stephen Skrabal reviewed the test results and agreed that there are no values for arsenic that are alarming.

"The values are either below or slightly above the state criterion for what's considered a successful clean up of the soil and ground water," said Skrabal.

The professor also added that iron is naturally abundant in many soils.  He believes the high iron levels could be a natural occurrence, but thinks more testing is need to be certain.

Additional testing is expected to be completed and finalized within the next two weeks.

Principal Dickens said school officials have no plans to close Castle Hayne Elementary at this time.  She says the drinking water is safe because it is provided from Cape Fear Public Utilities.

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