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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 16, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160


 
DHSS Will Expand Analysis of Cancer, Other Health Issues in Pompton Lakes


 

In response to residents’ concerns related to contaminated groundwater from the DuPont Pompton Lakes Works site, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services will expand its analysis of cancer rates and other community health issues.

 

The Department will work with an advisory committee of Pompton Lakes community members to establish a plan of action to address residents’ health concerns.  DHSS announced the committee during a community meeting held last night to discuss the results of its first report on cancer rates released last week. DHSS also will post answers to questions citizens raised at last night’s meeting. Members of the group, Citizens for a Clean Pompton Lakes, will be part of the advisory committee.

 

            Last week, DHSS issued two reports on cancer incidence and on the “vapor intrusion” problem in the neighborhood of about 450 homes nearest the groundwater contamination.  The reports were prepared in cooperation with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

 

The cancer report, which covered the period 1979-2006, found elevated rates of two types of cancer among the 13 individual types studied -- kidney cancer in women and non-Hodgkin lymphona in men.  The report could not conclusively link the cancers to the groundwater contaminants, or rule the contaminants out as a potential cause. 

 

Both the cancer report and the vapor intrusion report recommended that residents who have not already done so get vapor mitigation systems installed at their homes to eliminate any health risks from groundwater contaminants.  Volatile organic compounds in the groundwater can evaporate and form gases that migrate through the soil and enter residents’ homes through cracks.

 

DuPont will install the mitigation systems at no cost.  The DuPont Pompton Lakes Works closed in the 1990s, and since then, the company has been involved in remediation efforts both on and off the site of the former explosives manufacturing plant.

 

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