Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pollution Fact: TCE Is the Biggest Water Polluter About Which Most People Have Never Heard

"TCE" is the worst polluter of water about which most people have never heard anything.

The highly radioactive water leaking out of Fukushima, the massive sewage spills that regularly pollute our rivers, oil leaks, acidic water pouring out of coal mines, and pollution of water wells from gas drilling mistakes regularly hit the headlines.  But the huge damage done to ground water by Trichloroethylene or TCE dumping draws little attention at all.

As the linked to story describes why, TCE,  however, most certainly is among America's worst water polluters and should command more attention. The article accurately states:

"Used in large volumes by an array of industries, TCE is one of the most widespread contaminants in U.S. water supplies."  

That's indeed a fact.  Just in Michigan there are 300 sites where TCE is leaching into groundwater. But Michigan is far from alone.

Pennsylvania too has major water pollution from TCE, a solvent that was used in many industries for decades and that was often improperly stored or removed.  Indeed, I have helped Pennsylvanians whose drinking water was fouled by TCE dumping over decades.

In fact, TCE plumes are in groundwater all over America. And TCE is nasty stuff for human beings to ingest.

"TCE was declared a human carcinogen in 2011, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spent three decades analyzing its health risks. TCE can lead to kidney and liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to the EPA’s report.The chemical also may be linked to bladder, esophageal, prostate, cervical and breast cancers, and leukemia."

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