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Source: CBS New York

3 Long Island Laundromats Ordered To Test Waste Water For Probable Carcinogen


Posted: February 1, 2017
Originally Published: February 1, 2017

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Department of Environmental Conservation has ordered some laundromats to test for a cancer-causing chemical that was found in nearly all of the water districts on Long Island.

The man-made chemical 1,4-dioxane – which is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a “probable carcinogen” — was used in aviation, manufacturing and agricultural operations. It is now being used as a stabilizer in solvents, and personal care products including shampoos and laundry detergents.

The department has ordered the owners of three laundromats that have permits up for renewal to test the waste water coming from their businesses.

“A laundromat with a lot of detergents coming out of their waste water may in fact be what is called a point source of contamination, which simply means might be a contributor to 1,4-dioxane entering into our groundwater and our drinking water,” said Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The laundromats are located in St. James, Bay Shore and Lake Ronkonkoma.

“It’ll help us gain some more knowledge and some more science on this issue and that is something that is dramatically needed,” Esposito said.

Last month, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky proposed a bill that would set regulations of the chemical. He wants to set a maximum level allowed by law that water districts must follow.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is also building a nearly $1 million ultraviolet reactor – the first of its kind in the state – that can neutralize 1,4-dioxane.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in his State of the State address that there will be further testing for 1,4-dioxane on Long Island this year.

Cuomo also proposed a $2 billion fund to pay for clean water infrastructure, helping communities install treatment systems to get rid of contaminants.

Effects of 1,4-dioxane vary, depending on a person’s exposure, health and age.

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