• Kyodo

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Two Mitsubishi group firms said Friday they have discovered a harmful heavy metal in the soil of a residential complex here at levels 64 times the legal limit.

Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and Mitsubishi Estate Co. said they detected excessive levels of selenium at the Osaka Amenity Park housing and commercial facilities complex, which they are developing, in the city’s Kita Ward.

The firms also detected levels of arsenic and lead that exceed allowable limits under the government’s environmental regulatory standards.

The firms said they will replace the soil covering the 8,600-sq.-meter section of the complex, especially in areas surrounding the two high-rise condominiums and parks inside the facility.

The site, which includes the Imperial Hotel, was used as a smelting factory by the predecessor of Mitsubishi Materials. Officials of the companies said it is unlikely that the toxic materials will have a negative effect on human health because underground water in the area is not used for drinking.

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