ANNISTON, Ala. — Anniston families are speaking out about living on top of contaminated soil for decades.
Families believe living there could have caused behavioral problems and learning disabilities.
Generations of families lived at the Cooper Homes Apartments, a federal housing complex.
The homes were on the corner of Cooper Avenue and West 15th Street in Anniston.
The land is located in the West side of the city, but is owned by the federal government.
The units were torn down, but couldn't be rebuilt when the city discovered the soil was contaminated.
Now some residents are asking for those who lived there to be tested for exposure.
Brenda Nail and Anita Stewart both lived at Cooper Homes. They and other families raised their children and grandchildren at the housing complex.
"I'm 63 years old," Nail said. "To know that I was living on all of this industrial waste, lead, and PCB, and how it has affected my life as well as my children and grandchildren. I don't think it's fair."
The city found out about the contamination after an environmental study was conducted. The report stated lead and PCBs were found.
Some families believe learning disabilities and behavioral problems in their children may be a result of lead exposure.
"I have kids that were conditioned of disability because of the illness that took place because of the lead that we didn't know of," Stewart explained.
According to Glen Ray, President of the Anniston-Calhoun NAACP, there are at least 30 families who have concerns that their families have been affected by living at Cooper Homes.
"We're looking for more than answers, Ray said. "We're looking for somebody to do what's right for what has been wrong to the minorities in this city."
With that, the families also want this possible exposure to be taken into consideration for those who are in jail or have a criminal record.
"Being tested, I think is the right thing to do," Stewart said. "Half of the kids that have been incarcerated, nieces and nephews that are still incarcerated and lived in these projects."
Parents say those behavioral problems may have resulted in some who lived here to become incarcerated.
They hope testing can determine whether lead exposure played a role.
"We need them to be tested, the ones that are incarcerated," Ray said. "There's a reason they were acting like that and they didn't understand it. Today, we all understand it."
There have also been reports of soil contamination at the Barber Terrace housing complex in Anniston.