Pompton Lakes parents' concern over contamination spurs air testing at Lakeside Middle School

Parents have worried about the health of students at Lakeside Middle School.

Parents have worried about the health of students at Lakeside Middle School. (12/5/13)

POMPTON LAKES - Officials will test the air near a Pompton Lakes school after years of cancer-causing toxins contaminating groundwater and soil in the area.

Parents have worried about the health of students at Lakeside Middle School.

The Pompton Lakes Advisory Group asked the EPA to test the school's air quality, even though the property sits outside the plume. "Our safety concern is children are being exposed and as they grow older, they come up with diseases and don't know why they have them," says Joe Intintola, of the Pompton Lakes Advisory Group.

Later this month, officials will see if contaminants are vaporizing from the ground into the building.

June Bangma's grandson is a student at the school. "I think it's a good thing," she says. "We should know exactly where we stand."

The contamination came from a DuPont factory that used to sit on property just about a mile from the school. For decades, it manufactured explosives and dumped heavy metals like lead, mercury and copper into the ground.

The EPA says it does not see a reason to test the school's athletic field, as requested, which Intintola says is a mistake. "We want the soil tested for heavy metals, because the field is next to Acid Brook, which overflowed and came from DuPont's property," he says. The agency is looking into the matter.

A 2009 test of the school building did not reveal any contamination. The EPA says the same results are expected this time.

The tests will be done over Christmas break, and the results are expected by early March.
 

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