19 Pueblo Homes Test Positive For Lead Contamination

A number of homes near Pueblo's Colorado Smelter Superfund site have tested positive for lead contamination, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The EPA tested outdoor soil and indoor dust at 102 homes. Nineteen had high lead levels.

Steve Wharton, supervisory environmental scientist for the EPA, said these initial properties tested were from across the Superfund site.

"We have approximately 1,900 homes within the study area to look at," he said. "So it’s really too early to see any particular trend as far as location."

Wharton expects cleanup to begin inside the homes with high lead levels later this month. Cleanup of outdoor soils will likely begin next year. Sampling results for more properties will be announced soon and EPA plans to continue testing this summer.

The Colorado Smelter once processed silver in south Pueblo. It closed in 1908.