BUNKER HILL MINING & METALLURGICAL COMPLEX
Health & Environment
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What Are the Risks at the Site?
Lead and other heavy metals throughout the area can pose a risk to people's health. Lead is most dangerous to young children, pregnant women, and unborn children. It can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and slower growth. Lead can pose a risk to adults, too, causing memory loss, irritability, high blood pressure and muscle or joint pain. Lead is taken into the body by swallowing lead-contaminated dirt or water, or by inhaling air contaminated by lead dust. There is no safe level of lead exposure.
In the Basin, lead and other metals from past mining practices is often found in:
- Soil on hillsides and around old mill sites
- Soil on river banks and floodplains
- Dirt tracked into vehicles or into homes from these areas
- Soil under clean soil caps, under foundations, and in dirt basements
- Dust in homes
Have your child's blood-lead tested. The only way to know your child's blood lead level is to test it. Screening is available free of cost year-round. Plus, each summer, Panhandle Health District offers free testing for young children. PHD also provides free, private consultations on how to reduce exposures. Call 208-783-0707.
Get your yard tested. Contact Idaho Department of Environmental Quality for information about getting your yard soil tested. Call 208-783-5781.
Since the 1980s, we have made great progress in reducing risks. Even so, lead and other metals remain. Reduce your lead exposure: Keep Clean, Eat Clean, Play Clean!
- Know where to play outdoors safely. If you don't know, ask.
- Keep hands clean, especially after playing outside and before eating.
- Teach children how to wash hands properly. Use soap and water, but not creek or river water. Wash for at least 20 seconds to remove lead particles. Hand sanitizer kills germs but will not remove lead.
- Have a table or clean barrier (such as a towel or blanket) between your food and the ground.
- When riding ATVs, motorcycles and bikes off-road, wear protective gear including masks or bandana.
- Dust off or wash off what can to minimize dirt that you bring home.
- Wash pets that have played in the dirt or swam in the river before letting them into your home.
- Vacuum and "damp dust" your home often.
- Get your yard tested. Call 208-783-5781.
- Have your child's blood-lead tested. Call 208-783-0707.
Children's blood lead levels have dropped sharply since the cleanup began.
EPA uses performance measures to track environmental results at Superfund sites. If you have any questions or concerns about the measures at this site, please contact the site team members listed under Site Contacts.
Read more about Superfund Remedial Performance Measures.
|Status at this
|What does this mean?|
|Human Exposure Under Control||No||Yes means assessments indicate that across the entire site:
No means an unsafe level of contamination has been detected at the site and a reasonable expectation exists that people could be exposed.Insufficient data means that, due to uncertainty regarding exposures, one cannot draw conclusions as to whether human exposures are controlled, typically because:
|Groundwater Migration Under Control||No||
Yes means EPA reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination. EPA concluded the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized and there is no unacceptable discharge to surface water. EPA will conduct monitoring to confirm that affected groundwater remains in the original area of contamination.
No means EPA has reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination, and the migration of contaminated groundwater is not stabilized.
Insufficient data means that due to uncertainty regarding contaminated groundwater migration, EPA cannot draw conclusions as to whether the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized.
Yes means the physical construction of the cleanup is complete for the entire site.
No means either physical construction is not complete or actions are still needed to address contamination.
|Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use||No||Yes means:
No means that one or more of these three criteria have not been met. However, a site listed as no may still have redevelopment occurring on portions of the site and may be eligible for additional redevelopment.