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Bureau of Epidemiology

Environmental Epidemiology Program

Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters

Crews work to remove lead and arsenic contaminated soils in Operable Unit 2, near Little Cottonwood Canyon.


The Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters site is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, near Sandy City, in Salt Lake County, Utah. Smelting activities conducted in this area between 1872 and 1875 resulted in elevated levels of arsenic and lead in the soil. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) requested that the Environmental Epidemiology Program (EEP) of the Utah Department of Health conduct a public health assessment (PHA) to identify potential health hazards posed by former smelting activities at the Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters site. The site was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List on April 30, 2003.

At least three smelters operated at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon near Sandy City during the late 1800s: Davenport Smelter,McKay and Revolution Silver Mining Smelter, and Flagstaff Smelter. Smelting processes released lead, arsenic, and other metals into the environment in the form of dust and flue ash. A residential neighborhood now occupies the site.

A Public Health Assessment (PHA) was conducted for the smelter site and surrounding area. The PHA was completed in 2005.

  • Public Health Assessment
    • The PHA evaluated the potential for long-term health impacts in the community.
    • The Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters site is classified as a public health hazard due to arsenic and lead concentrations in residential soil.
    • Children living in this area should have their blood-lead levels tested.