Cardin, Oklahoma: Toxic Town


By Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida, FL


Cardin, Oklahoma is an example of a toxic town (see toxic town entry in this dictionary). Cardin is now a ghost town (as of 2010) due to the extensive environmental problems found at this site.

Cardin is located within the Tar Creek Superfund Site (for further description of this site and the issues see the entry on Picher, Oklahoma in this dictionary). Cardin was the first town to be abandoned under a Superfund agreement which moved residents from the most highly impacted areas within the Tar Creek Superfund Site.

The primary issues in Cardin involve exposure of the population to lead and other heavy metal pollutants. Those pollutants resulted from the long term lead and zinc mining carried out in this area of Oklahoma. The mining left behind extensive “chat piles” of lead and zinc contaminated waste. The mining process also left numerous underground mine shafts behind that collect water and allow the leaching of environmental toxic into the environment. A description of the Tar Creek Superfund site which includes Cardin can be found here: (Cardin Site Description).

Further Reading

In this dictionary see:”Toxic Towns” entry



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