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For Immed. Release: Senators and Congressmen request CDC study of health effects due to chemical contamination in Pompton Lakes

by Admin - September 15th, 2011.
Filed under: News.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-08) yesterday sent a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden asking the agency to investigate the health effects of chemical contamination in Pompton Lakes, including a scientifically controlled, full health study of the town’s residents.

For decades, residents of Pompton Lakes have been concerned that chemical contamination in their environment is affecting their health.  In the mid 1980s, contaminants mixed with ground water and created a contaminated plume beneath nearly 450 homes.  As recently as 2008, tests indicated the solvents were vaporizing up through the soil into basements of some of these homes.  These solvents are considered likely human carcinogens.

A preliminary New Jersey Health and Senior Services Department analysis found that women in Pompton Lakes were hospitalized for cancerous tumors 38 percent more often than women throughout the rest of the state.  Many residents in the city live in proximity to chemical waste and contaminated ground water, but the survey drew no conclusion as to the cause of this alarming uptick in hospitalization.

Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and Congressman Pascrell have requested that the CDC expand on the state’s efforts to investigate the harmful effects of chemical contamination throughout the city, and to conduct a scientifically controlled, full health study to produce a more comprehensive and conclusive set of findings.

“Efforts to clean up environmental contaminants and mitigate their effects must remain our top priority, but, as we work toward a full cleanup, Pompton Lakes residents deserve to know more about how their health is being affected by chemicals in their soil and ground water,” Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and Congressman Pascrell wrote.  “It’s time to examine all the health effects of this contamination in the most scientifically rigorous way possible.”

The full text of the letter is available here.

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