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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 04/15/2010

Toxic glassware found in Spring Valley

By Washington Post editors

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended digging at a Spring Valley neighborhood site near American University after discovering what could be a fourth major disposal area for World War I-era munitions.

Project Manager Dan Noble said Thursday that workers pulled smoking glassware from the pit and that preliminary tests showed that the glassware was contaminated with the toxic chemical arsenic trichloride.

Noble said this is the first discovery of this chemical in the Spring Valley project. It was not exposed to the outside air.

During World War I, the Army used the university grounds as an experiment station to develop and test chemical weapons.

Dozens of other items also have been uncovered in recent months, including a half-liter jar of the chemical agent mustard.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | April 15, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
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