Mining Mid-Missouri's Lead Levels
Farmer Don Osborn said he's certain there's no lead on his side of Highway 87.
"I didn't think it was a problem," he said. "I have cooperated with DNR in the past on some things. But I didn't really think it was a problem, so I never did contact them at all."
Even the mayor of California said he hadn't heard of the lead testing until he read an article in the California Democrat newspaper. DNR said that's because it's contacting only residents near mining sites. The department also said testing requires only a couple of spoonfuls of dirt to detect any danger.
"There's no way you could tell it by just looking at it," Stinson explained. "I mean, if it was a large mine and you knew mining occured there, you could see it. But these very small ones, you would not know that."
For now, Osborn isn't worried because his cows are healthy.
"I bought it from my mother. It's 21 years old and has produced 19 calves in her 21 years," he said. "She seems to be in pretty good condition for a very old cow."
So far, the EPA has tested 300 homes in the central mining district, and only two had enough lead to require removal.