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Contaminated soil: Digging up the past, finding fear in Geneva

For the majority of their 3-year-old son’s life, Geneva city residents Jeff and Kara Helstrom searched for what was causing the elevated levels of lead in their little boy’s body. The Ontario County Health Department told them it could be the paint in their home. The residence on Jackson Street in the city’s northeast side has been in Jeff’s family for decades.

They repainted the inside of their home, as Kara explored other possibilities that could explain the toxic chemical’s presence in Jonah’s bloodstream. “The pediatrician assured me that it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d have any problems. He could be fine,” Kara said. “We just wanted to monitor him and find the source of the lead.”

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