By Michael-Thomas Marciante
Ever have that feeling that something is in the air? Some people love is in the air, or sometimes they say its hate. Imagine it was poison that everyone was breathing. For over a century E.I. DuPont Co. operating factory made explosives and pollution that the entire town was breathing since their establishment in 1908. Now, pollution has spread to Pompton Lakes, where fear has captured its residents, as the ominous carcinogenic toxins may have already infiltrated people’s homes.
On December 10, 2009, Brian T. Murray of The Star Ledger wrote an article containing the update of the gruesome vapors consuming the Pompton Lakes, NJ. An investigation began in 2002, when researchers studied the groundwater, bodies of water and other collections of H2O in Pomptom Lakes. Researchers and the Department of Health and Senior Serviced found that the number of men suffering from non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the number of women suffering from kidney cancer had risen so significantly, that the government took notice. In a very non-specific, non-conclusive, filibuster mannerly written letter sent to 450 homeowners, the Department stated, "The fact that rates for the two cancers were not elevated for both men and women means no conclusive link could be established between the cancers and the groundwater contaminants," the letter said. "However, the contaminants cannot be ruled out as a potential cause of the elevated rates. Other risk factors, such as tobacco use or occupational exposures, could explain the elevations."
It appeared, to researchers, that the majority of people who may have been exposed to the toxins were not so much drinking the poison, but rather breathing it. Cancerous vapors, caused by the DuPont explosive producing company chemical waste, have been spreading through people’s homes since what is predicted to be, “…within the last 20 years.”
How is the municipality handling this poison you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you if you really want to know. By law, the municipality of PL must provide a means of filtering the fumes from peoples home, as stated by Environmental Protection Agency, for free. They claim to have installed units within 80% of the 450 homes believed to have been affected by the fumes. However residents are not 100% satisfied with the findings. Prominent members of the community such as Jeff Titel, of the Sierra Club, are skeptical, “New Jersey already has higher incidents of cancer than the rest of the nation, so when you see a report saying the incidents of cancer in Pompton Lakes are higher than the New Jersey norm, that’s an alarm bell.” The Sierra Club has been cleaning up E.I. DuPont Co.’s mess, and has had success, yet not victory, “There is something very wrong here that must be dealt with. They need to do a better clean-up.”
So while the municipality has been taking ever public relation means necessary to clean up the mess, it all feels too good to be true. It would be nice to think that this problem was just discovered, and now the government is doing everything they can to fix it. However, the DuPont explosives company knew what they were creating, and another New Jersey factory is hurting its residents, and it’s the homeowners who have to clean it up. Better late, than never.