State: Homes, Schools Near Ex-Miltary Lab Safe From Toxic Waste

State officials say tests show homes and schools near a former military and aerospace test site that generated toxic waste are safe.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control is overseeing an investigation into contamination around the former site of Wyle Laboratories. Known cancer-causing chemicals have been detected in
recent years in groundwater and soil near the Norco complex.

Rafat Abbasi is senior project manager for the state Department of Toxic Substances Control. He says tests were conducted on the air and soil around three schools and 27 homes west of the lab.

The tests did turn up low levels of toxic waste and levels of one chemical that could cause health risks over long exposure. One known carcinogen, vinyl chloride, was found at one of the schools, but the chemical was not linked to Wyle.

Still, Abbasi says the homes and schools are safe.

Wyle conducted tests on the site between 1959 and 2004.

Nearby residents blame contamination from the lab on cases of cancer and other health problems. No official link between toxic substances at the lab and those health problems has been found.

A complete report from the state is due in January and will detail the extent of ground contamination at the 429-acre site and elsewhere.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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