Many homeowners in South Chattanooga are dealing with dangerous levels of lead in their soil. The EPA said they plan to clean up all residential properties in the Southside Chattanooga lead site that have high levels of lead, but they're waiting to receive federal funding.

It’s a hidden danger that can affect every organ and system in your body. Health officials are weighing in how lead can affect your body.

“Any type of hazard in the environment have been shown in many numerous studies to be a detriment to the kids development and behavior especially things like lead,” said Ty Bullington, a pediatrician.

Seven neighborhoods in Chattanooga’s Southside are contaminated with lead from the foundry operations in Chattanooga decades ago. More than 70 properties are still on a list to be cleaned up.

"They put about a hundred holes in my yard. They came out. They did a lot of digging… Then I got a letter saying my yard was contaminated,” said Robernetta Thompson, resident.

EPA officials said they've taken samples from more than 300 properties to see how much lead is in the area. And for good reason, lead can harm children the most,  it can cause behavior and learning problems, as well as stunt growth, and even create hearing issues.

“We know that it takes a long time to get things like this cleaned up but it is a concern that it's ongoing and the longer it goes on the more at risk our children are in this area,” he explained.

Health officials are urging parents to take well checkup seriously. The checks screen for exposure to various environmental hazards.

The EPA said the surface soil at public parks where children play in the area were tested, and are not contaminated with lead. However, some residents are still hesitant.

"I want to live in a safe environment. I’ve got a lot of grandkids and kids playing in the yard. So that's my major concern,” Thompson said.

In rare cases, ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma and even death. Pregnant woman are especially at risk. Exposure can affect growth and cause premature birth. If you're concerned, you should contact your healthcare provider.