The Superfund National Priorities List now includes nine new sites-one of them where a smelter used to operate on the east side of Iola.
The EPA says the soil on hundreds of residential and commercial properties in and around Iola is contaminated with lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc. EPA Region 7 spokeswoman Dianna Whitaker says the biggest concern is lead.
“Children can get into that lead—especially young children," she says. "They put their hands in their mouths, and then they can be exposed and absorb lead, and lead is very dangerous for young children."