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Eshenaur from the Health Department said that the main concern with arsenic is whether young children play in contaminated soil and eat it, but risks are far lower if the soil is under turf or if youngsters are exposed to very small amounts of it by inhaling dust.
"Just because a pollutant or element is present doesn't mean that people will come into contact with it or that people are going to get sick," Eshenaur said. However, the company is acting prudently to take more samples to see if the arsenic concentrations are higher elsewhere on the ball fields, she said.
Hobbs said that Ford's consultant has taken about 70 soil borings from different sections of its property and will report on those results in the future. He expects many of them to reveal the "typical cocktail of contaminants" such as metals and waste solvents that have been found at other Ford plants shutting down across the country.
Hobbs said that he understands the importance of the Little League fields to the community, but that it's too early to say whether they will reopen or need to be relocated elsewhere on the property.
"We're going to work with the community to see what makes sense, but I don't want to commit right now," he said.
Tom Meersman 612-673-7388
Tom Meersman email@example.com