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Source: News 12 Long Island

3 laundromats to test for chemical linked to cancer

Posted: February 3, 2017
Originally Published: February 2, 2017

STONY BROOK - Three Suffolk laundromats have been ordered to test for a chemical linked to cancer in an effort to clean up Long Island's aquifers.

Carrie Gallagher, regional director of the Department of Environmental Conservation on Long Island, says that 1,4-Dioxane has been showing up in Long Island's aquifers, and the agency is trying to determine the source of the contamination.

Gallagher says three laundromats will be monitoring for 1,4-Dioxane to see if they are a potential source of the contamination. She says 1,4-Dioxane has also been used historically to clean out cesspools and septic tanks. It is also present in personal care products, detergents, dyes and paints.

The DEC tells News 12 that Long Island water authorities cannot remove the chemical using conventional filtering systems. Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito says home filters will never remove 1,4-Dioxane.

"What we really want is manufacturers of the laundry soap to take 1,4-Dioxane out of their product," says Esposito.

News 12 reached out to the laundromats that are being tested, but they did not want to comment.

The DEC says it hopes to have results of the testing by May.