GREEN SPRINGS, OH (Toledo News Now) - A report commissioned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency released Tuesday states the former Whirlpool Park contains toxic chemicals.
The Whirlpool property is located at the intersection of Township Road 187 and County Road 181 in Green Springs, OH. The site was studied as part of an investigation into the cause of a childhood cancer cluster in eastern Sandusky County.
The report says the site contains higher than acceptable levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, as well as toxic metal filled sludge.
About three dozen children have been diagnosed with cancer and are a part of the years-long study.
Families of the children who died as part of the cancer cluster, say the existence of the chemicals was never disclosed by the Whirlpool Corporation. Parents are preparing to speak about toxic chemicals found in their area at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Whirlpool owned the property from 1953 to 2008, when it was sold to a private owner.
"Once the facts are then determined and ascertained, if indeed there are contaminants and compound materials on that site that were placed on that site during the time that we owned it, Whirlpool Corporation is going to remove them at our expense and do it consistent with the practice of the day," said Jeff Noel, a spokesperson for the company.
Whirlpool Corporation Spokesperson Kristine Vernier also released the following statement:
"We appreciate the concerns of the community. We have been members of this community for more than 60 years and employ thousands of local residents.
"Since being notified by the USEPA of their test results, Whirlpool has worked diligently and persistently with the current owner of this property, his lawyer and have even solicited the help of the USEPA to gain access to the site to conduct appropriate surveys and additional testing in partnership with the state and federal environmental agencies. However, the property owner and his lawyer have denied all of our requests for access to the site under reasonable conditions. We are hopeful that the voices of these families will encourage the property owner and his lawyers to allow Whirlpool onto the property to begin the site characterization in coordination with state and federal authorities. We are prepared to move forward immediately with the first steps of the evaluation once granted access to the property."
The report falls short of saying this site is a cause of the cancer cluster.