Pompton Lakes study draws criticism

POMPTON LAKES - A major health study about Pompton Lakes is already drawing criticism.

For nearly 100 years, a vacant lot in Pompton Lakes was the site of a Dupont factory, which made explosives for the U.S. Army. The plant closed in 1994, but the damage had already been done. Chemicals like TCE and PCE, as well as lead and mercury, had leaked into the soil. In recent years, residents learned the cancer-causing contaminants were vaporizing through the ground and into their homes.

The Department of Health and Senior Services has announced plans for a survey of 450 residents, to determine if the pollution is the cause of people's health problems, something the company denies.

While many are happy a formal health survey will soon be under way, they don't like how it will be done. Due to tight resources, the state will not survey former residents.

Officials expect the survey to be finished by April. They plan to compile a report, and state and federal health officials will determine if further investigations are warranted.

Dupont has taken steps to clean up the site, including installing vapor-mitigation systems in the homes, designed to remove contaminants from indoor air.

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