Tests Confirm Cancer-Causing Vapors in Several SE Mpls. Homes

Updated: 12/05/2013 5:03 PM
Created: 12/04/2013 6:35 PM
By: Cassie Hart

Tests for dangerous chemical vapors in more than two dozen Minneapolis homes are complete.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found the chemicals in 17 of 26 homes tested in the Como neighborhood of Minneapolis. The chemicals can cause cancer.

Water contaminated with a toxic chemical from past General Mills research there is evaporating underground, causing the dangerous vapors. General Mills dumped hazardous chemicals into the ground. One was trichloroethylene, or TCE, a cleaning solvent and degreaser.

The danger wasn't discovered until 1981, and it took nearly three decades to largely decontaminate the groundwater.

The fix is fairly easy, according to officials. A ventilation system would be installed and paid for by General Mills.

Residents and an attorney from Chicago held a meeting Wednesday night to talk about potential lawsuits.   

In November, the state warned hundreds of people living in the neighborhood the chemical could be seeping into their basements and the air they breathe.

Photo: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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