Mary Hernandez relates the health effects on her family of residing in the Vasquez/I-70 Superfund Site, placed on the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites in 1999. She lived in Swansea, Elyria and Globeville, site of the 4-square mile Superfund Site for over 30 years. Soil contaminants including cadmium, lead, zinc and arsenic were deposited by smelters operating in North Denver during the 19th and 20th Centuries. The combination of smelter contamination and small particulate vehicular exhaust from the nearby highway has resulted in a legacy of cancers, arthritis, reproductive disorders, asthma, cerebral palsy, birth defects and other endocrine disrupting disorders affecting three generations of Mary's family. Two of her grandchildren were born blind, with a rare condition called Septo-optic dysplasia and developmental disorders, one with cerebral palsy. Her sister suffered nine miscarriages. Two family members experienced fusion of the spine - ankylosing spondylitis, a type of progressive arthritis requiring surgery. Mary's commentary is very timely, as CDOT and the City prepare to triple the footprint of the I-70 highway through the north Denver communities, while lowering it below grade in a flood plain in the largely unremediated Superfund Site. Even as the City and the EPA are advocating what many think is the premature de-listing of the Vasquez/I-70 Superfund Site, much of the soil is being dug up and removed to the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS) Landfill.
Video/Edit Michele Swenson