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'Potentially harmful vapors' from old General Mills facility found in Mpls neighborhood

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State health officials are notifying some Minneapolis residents of a potentially harmful vapor that may be entering homes and buildings.

According to a letter from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued Wednesday, preliminary tests conducted last month showed the presence of the soil vapor trichloroethylene, known as TCE, in the city's Como neighborhood, WCCO reports.

TCE was used as an industrial solvent in the 1940s through the early 1960s at a former General Mills research facility on 2010 E. Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis.

A news release says the chemical was disposed of in a pit on the property, but General Mills pumped and treated groundwater at the site for more than two decades following the discovery of the contamination 30 years ago.

Officials said more testing will be conducted to determine how harmful the vapor is. If TCE levels are above safe levels, General Mills has agreed to install vapor ventilation systems beneath homes or buildings.

There is no cost to residents or property owners for testing or mitigation.

Two informational meetings are being held by the departments next Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Van Cleve Rec Center.

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