Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour

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The manicured lawns and beautiful brick homes that line the streets of Spring Valley look like those in most affluent District neighborhoods.

But the area looked much different during World War I, when the Army was using it as a testing ground for chemical weapons.

On Sunday, visitors on a tour of the neighborhood heard how, 90 years after scientists ended their experiments, the remnants of toxic munitions remain.

"The purpose of the tour is to encourage more historical research, investigation and cleanup here," said Kent Slowinski, who led more than a dozen people on the walk. "We want to raise awareness in both Spring Valley and nationwide."

He and Allen Hengst co-founded "Environmental Health Group: Spring Valley," a group that advocates for more research into the locations and health effects of the chemicals.

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