"Kish, the visible form of mill's pollution, 'invaded' homes, leaving residents to worry about health effects."
"When the Sparrows Point steel mill closed, Deborah S. Barkley felt sorry for the laid-off workers — she didn't want that to happen. But she knew her life would get better.
For 20 years, she's lived less than a mile from the Baltimore County plant. Until the facility shut down last summer, she said, silvery black grit and dust from steelmaking — known as kish — regularly blew in or rained down onto her family's yard, was tracked onto the carpets and corroded the exterior of the house.
Keeping her property clean was a constant battle. She stopped having cookouts. She tore out the pool she'd spent $10,000 on for her three kids. And though the state described it as more nuisance and respiratory irritant than health risk, she worried about whether the 'silver rain' was harming her children. All three suffer from year-round allergies.
'It invaded our lives,' said Barkley, 59. 'It just was endless.'"