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Lead Poison Sign Causing Concern In North Memphis Neighborhood

MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - A sign placed in front of a home on Britton Street Hyde Park is causing some people to worry about lead on neighboring properties. The sign was posted by city-contracted worker earlier this week.


"I'm concerned about my next-door neighbor," said Diane Rice. "They said they found which they found lead or so-called lead."


Rice lives next door to the home where soil was dug up and where the sign and caution tape first appeared.


"I saw the caution sign in the yard and it said poisonous," said Johnnie Hatten. "It also said, 'no eating, and drinking.' That's serious I'm thinking that's serious. 


The Local I-Team reached out to the Shelby County Health Department to find out what exactly was done on the property.


In an email health officials said:


"The City of Memphis (HCD) Lead Hazard Reduction Initiative (LHRI) has performed Lead Hazard reduction treatments at 1597 Britton Street."


The email went on to say, "The Shelby County Health Department performed a Lead Dust Clearance inspection yesterday, November 29th.  (Laboratory results are pending. Results should be ready by Monday Dec. 4th)"


The Local I-Team called the number listed on the sign. A man who answered the phone said the company is contracted with the city and that no lead was found inside the home or on the exterior. He said that the soil was the concern.


Larry Bolden lives at the address. He showed us where soil samples were taken from his back yard. The area soil in question backs right up to the house.


"They dug right there," he said "and put sod on top of it."


Both the sign and sample collection has people in the Hyde Park concerned as to whether other properties have lead.


"Johnnie Hatten asked, "Who identified that there was lead at this residence? Even though it was in the soil, who did that and if it was identified to be in this home, where else is it located?"



The Local I-Team took those questions and other's to the City of Memphis.


We asked the how the issue of lead on Britton Street came to the city's attention.


The mayor's office responded: 


"The City of Memphis’ LEAD-SAFE program provides income-eligible residents with FREE lead-hazard reduction services including lead-based paint inspections, interior and/or exterior painting and remediation of hazardous lead– contaminated components."


We also asked if other homes in the area in and around Hyde Park are at risk and if there's a cause forc concern.


The mayor's office responded:


"We have several properties enrolled, inspected and  are receiving lead remediation services."


Finally we asked about the home in question and if the lead was from paint, piping or plumbing.


The mayor's office responded:


"No source of lead paint was identified in the home. Typically  soil levels could have happened because of demolition close by or other properties in the area."


If you are concerned about lead in your dwelling tenants/homeowners  should contact the Housing & Community Development Lead-Safe Program to see if you qualify for a lead-based paint home inspection, There is  no cost for this. The Housing & Community Development Lead-Safe Program phone number is: (901) 576-7325 or (901) 576-7335.

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