10th Nassau water district files suit against chemical manufacturers

Source: News 12 Long Island

10th Nassau water district files suit against chemical manufacturers

Posted: January 12, 2019
Originally Published: January 9, 2019

MANHASSET - The Manhasset-Lakeville Water District is the 10th in Nassau County to file a lawsuit against chemical manufacturers for polluting drinking wells with 1,4-dioxane, which is listed as a likely carcinogen.

Environmentalists say the chemical is found in manufacturing as a solvent and in many personal care products, including detergents, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and even baby wipes. But they say it's not listed as an ingredient because it's a byproduct.

"When we use it in the shower or bath tub or sink, it goes down into our underground water supply," says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Esposito says if manufacturers are going to sell products that pollute groundwater, they should also pay to have it removed.

The law firm representing the water districts says defendants Dow Chemical, Ferro Corporation and Vulcan Materials "all knew or should have known that marketing, promoting, and selling products with 1,4-dioxane would put those people at risk. But they did it for decades, without warning anyone about the threats."

The highest detection of 1,4-dioxane was measured in a well in Hicksville. The Hicksville Water District filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Philips Electronics, which manufactured lights in the area for four decades.

Currently, New York state does not have drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane, but a standard is expected to be set sometime this year.

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