Motorola's 52nd Street Plant Still A Superfund Site

My parents didn’t work at the 52nd street Motorola plant (now a superfund site), built in 1956 near 48th Street and McDowell Road in Pheonix, Az but I think my Grandfather did. The EPA is still testing near the site nearly 30 year later.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials told about 15 residents at a community meeting Wednesday that their preliminary test results from some spots in the Lindon Park neighborhood, near 48th Street and McDowell Road, show some soil samples had unsafe levels of two industrial cleaning chemicals.

The chemicals were used at the former Motorola plant years ago to clean machinery and other equipment.

EPA scientists said the risk to residents’ health probably was small, but they believe they need to test for chemicals inside some homes to be sure.

“The kinds of soil vapor or the soil gas concentrations that we’re seeing do not lead us to believe that you would have the kinds of levels or exposure that would cause extreme health effects,” said Gerald Hiatt, an EPA toxicologist. “We may have some exposures inside homes that are high enough to create a (health) risk over long-term exposure, but I would be very, very surprised if we saw exposures that would create acute health effects.”

The neighborhood is the focus of an EPA Superfund monitoring and cleanup effort that has been under way for more than 20 years.

Apparently there was chemical tank that leaked into the soil in the 1980. It doesn’t surprise me from what I heard from my parents and what I saw working at electronic companies in the early 1990’s in Arizona. Companies were not that concerned about such safety issues.

Motorola's 52nd Street PlantThe factory is now owned by On Semiconductor. It’s been remodeled and I couldn’t find any pictures of what the factory originally looked like except one on the semiconductor Museum’s page.

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