Sturgis homes tested for vapor intrusion

Tests have been conducted at dozens of homes in the central region of Sturgis as part of a vapor-intrusion investigation.

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency has been involved with the investigation since late 2016, as the Sturgis Municipal Well site was placed in the Superfund Program in 1984 due to chemical contamination from the Kirsch Company.

The site was re-evaluated two years ago for a new concern called vapor intrusion, which occurs when contaminated vapor penetrates into the indoor air of a building.

The current owner of the property, Newell Brands Inc., has been conducting the vapor-intrusion investigation as required by the EPA to determine if there is a possible risk to health of the people living in homes within the affected area.

Health officials said the investigation centers on a three-block area comprised of East West Street north to East Hatch Street, and Jean Street west to Maple Street. In all, 47 homes fall within the affected area and 38 homeowners agreed to have testing conducted.

Four of those had indoor air tests above the health standard and mitigation systems were installed.

All costs and mitigation installations are being covered by Newell Brands.

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