Cancer-causing carcinogen focus of meeting in Garfield

A meeting was held last night in Garfield to discuss the high levels of cancerous chemicals found in the town's ground water.

Harmful levels of a cancer-causing chemical were found in 16 Garfield homes, according to a report released by The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Hexavalent chromium-contaminated dust in the basements of 16 of 160 homes that were sampled by the Environmental Protection Agency near the E.C. Electroplating Company in Garfield revealed a public health risk to residents living in the homes.

One of the homes affected by the toxins was the home of the mayor of Garfield. The EPA has not released the addresses of the other 15 homes. Elevated levels of the carcinogen have been found in the area's groundwater for more than 25 years.

The latest findings are among a string of contaminations over the past 30 years. A firehouse and a senior complex are among the locations where chromium has reportedly been found.

Residents in the area are urged to take steps to reduce their exposure to the chemical. The EPA has promised to take steps to help remediate the issues.

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