Rosiclare Mines

Fact Sheet #2
August 2001

Rosiclare, Illinois

Sampling Update

Aerial photograph, Rosiclare Mine, Hardin County Illinois

From March 19, 2001, to April 26, 2001, Illinois EPA's Site Assessment Unit collected soil, waste, sediment, and groundwater samples throughout the Rosiclare area. The preliminary results indicated varying levels of a number of metals (including lead) in residential properties, non-residential properties, creeks, and ditches.

The elevated metals appear to have been present in certain areas:

  • As fill material;
  • As a result of wind blown deposition; and/or
  • By flooding from an adjacent creek or ditch.

The Illinois EPA has been working with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and other agencies to evaluate the potential risks from exposure to contamination. A preliminary analysis of the Rosiclare sampling data suggests that lead may one potential contaminant of concern.

On April 23, 2001, Illinois EPA collected a groundwater sample from the Rosiclare Municipal Well. The results from the sample analysis indicate no inorganic chemicals exceed drinking water standards.

How can I be exposed to lead contamination in the soil?

Individuals can be exposed to lead by breathing contaminated dust, by swallowing or touching contaminated soil, and by eating food not thoroughly washed that has been grown in contaminated soil. Exposure to contaminated soil is more dangerous to young children because of their frequent hand-to-mouth activity and their increased susceptibility to lead. Dust from contaminated soil can be tracked into the house on shoes and can end up on indoor surfaces and toys.

What are the possible health effects of lead?

Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the human body. The most sensitive area of the body is the central nervous system, particularly in children. Exposure to lead is more dangerous in young and unborn children. Unborn children can be exposed to lead through their mothers. Harmful effects include premature births, smaller babies, decreased mental ability in infants, learning difficulties, and reduced growth in young children. These effects are more common after exposure to high levels of lead.

How can I reduce my exposure to contaminated soil?

Practice good hygiene habits:

  • Wash children's hands and faces often, especially before eating and at bedtime.
  • Make sure toys or objects that children put in their mouths are clean.
  • Wash garden vegetables before eating them.

Practice good housekeeping techniques:

  • Remove your shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking contaminated soils inside. Store shoes at entryways.
  • Sweep carpeting, rugs, and upholstery often.

Do not let children play or dig in contaminated soil:

  • Build a sandbox with a bottom and fill it with clean sand to give children a safe play area.
  • Do not disturb contaminated soil on windy days or when children or pregnant women are present.
    • Note: Since most activities are indoors during the winter months, exposure to contaminated soil is more likely to occur in warmer weather.

What is next?

In addition to the Public Availability Sessions, the Illinois EPA will be conducting discussions with the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). PRPs are any past or current owners or operators of the mining and/or milling facilities in Rosiclare. Based upon discussions with the PRPs and the need for additional information and data, it will then be determined whether the State or these companies will continue the environmental investigation.

Information Needed

The Illinois EPA is once again requesting the help from the citizens of Rosiclare to assist us in our investigation. If you have any information about past waste disposal practices at facilities which operated in Rosiclare, or where fill material has been used in residential yards, driveways, alleys, or other locations, please contact Michelle Tebrugge or Bruce Everetts (Illinois EPA) at the Public Availability Sessions or call them at the phone numbers listed below.

If I have any questions about the investigation, who do I contact?

Bruce Everetts
Project Manager
Site Assessment Unit
Federal Site Remediation Section
Bureau of Land (MC 24)
Illinois EPA
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
(217) 524-1663
Michelle Tebrugge
Community Relations Specialist
Office of Community Relations
Deputy Director's Office (MC 5)
Illinois EPA
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
(217) 524-4825
Gary Steele
Field Operations Manager
Illinois EPA
Marion Regional Office
(618) 993-7200
Lynn Stone
Environmental Toxicologist
IDPH - Marion Regional Office
Division of Environmental Health
(618) 993-7010