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Toxic Suburbia

A 50-acre section of the Los Angeles suburb of Carson is contaminated with methane gas and benzene. Owners of the 285 homes in the area are left with few options.
April 28, 2010, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"'How can you get a good night's sleep?' Belinda Oglesby said. 'I tell my husband, ‘Get me out of here,' but where are we going? Who'd buy our house? It's like a nightmare that never goes away.'

Things have only seemed to get worse. In March, the water quality board told residents not to eat fruit or vegetables grown in their backyards. Shell Oil Co., which once stored millions of gallons of crude oil in giant tanks where the houses now stand, sent letters to more than 20 homeowners recommending they minimize contact with 'exposed soil in your yard.'"

Oil production in the area before its development has left a legacy of pollution that now threatens the health of residents -- and cuts down the likelihood that they'll find buyers on the housing market.

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Published on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in Los Angeles Times
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