Award of Excellence|
The Dallas Morning News
"THE BURDEN OF LEAD: WEST DALLAS FEELS IGNORED AFTER YEARS OF DESPAIR"
The lead smelter in West Dallas is long gone, but the damage it left behind has not been forgotten. A decades-long struggle over lead contamination continues for some residents, who are still gathering at churches, holding meetings in parks, and speaking at City Council meetings about their concerns. And many wonder if the West Dallas experience will also play out in the suburb of Frisco with the exposure and contamination from Exide Technologies. They want answers. They seek justice.
Four-year-old Raynasja Smith is bathed in light from a car leaving the Liberty in Christ House of God church Saturday evening following worship services. The church, located on Muncie Avenue in West Dallas, recently tested higher than acceptable for lead exposure, indicating it is an unsafe area for children. Several generations attending church in the tiny clapboard structure have grown up there, playing in the area where their children and grandchildren now play, planted gardens in the contaminated soil - the produce used in congregation dinners - and many of the parishioners still live on Muncie Avenue or keep animals there.