EPA finds cache of toxic chemicals inside Green Lake home
SEATTLE -- Arsenic, cadmium and phosphoric acid. Those are just some of the hundreds of toxic chemicals being removed from a Green Lake home.
The EPA is on scene clearing out more than 1,000 containers full of what it described as commercial grade chemicals.
Overnight, an EPA lab sprouted outside a Green lake home. The EPA's emergency response team is removing any and all hazardous chemicals.
"It's not where these type of chemicals belong," said Jeffry Rodin, Emergency Response On-Scene Coordinator for the EPA's District 10 office.
A tip from the Seattle Fire Department led the EPA to the 6300 block of 5th Avenue NE, which is the home of a man and his chemicals; many of them toxic, including Arsenic, Sodium Nitrate, Benzidine and Cadmium.
"The owner had a background in chemistry and research chemistry,"said Rodin.
Some neighbors referred to the homeowner as the "neighborhood's mad scientist," but one neighbor who knows him called him "eccentric."
"He's a nice gentleman. They try real hard, but he is eccentric, he's an old chemist -- or wannabe chemist -- I'm not sure which," the neighbor said.
Rod lives next door and says he's glad to see the chemicals go, most of them were piled up in the back and side yards.
"He's convinced he is going to discover the next new element," Rod said. "I"m not kidding."
He said his neighbor is in his 90s and might be a hoarder.
"There's stuff from floor to ceiling in his house," he said.
Like the EPA, Rod said he's concerned that the chemicals, which are hazardous and aren't properly labeled, are in corroding containers.
"Most were being stored improperly, most not labeled and most not packaged properly," said EPA response coordinator Jeffry Rodin.
The chemicals without labels are being field analyzed in the backyard, then packaged and inventoried to be hauled away for disposal. Crews found an unknown amount of hydrofluoric acid, which was famously used in an episode of "Breaking Bad" to dissolve a human body.
Neighbors got a heads up Monday. The EPA canvassed the neighborhood and left an information flier with homeowners.
"It's a surprise he would have all that going on in his house," said Susan, a neighbor. Susan, said the EPA is being "wonderful" and she and her young daughter feel safe.
Neighbors have been reassured the cleanup poses no public safety risk.
"We're monitoring the air constantly we have security here 24 hours when we are not here," Rodin said.
He said it could take thru the weekend to clear everything out, at a cost pushing $100,000. When asked if there would be any fines or citations for the homeowner, Rodin said he wouldn't know since that's a law enforcement issue, but stressed right now they're concerned about clean up and safety.