Study Links Cancer to Polluted Neighborhoood

"Rates of lung cancer among women and colorectal cancer among men are significantly elevated throughout Pompton Lakes, but two other cancers linked to a neighborhood contaminated by a DuPont munitions plant are not elevated borough-wide, health officials said Wednesday.

Lung and colorectal cancers have been elevated in the borough for portions of the past three decades, according to a new study issued by the state Health Department on Wednesday.

But state health officials said they found no evidence borough-wide of elevated levels of two other cancers that are more prevalent in the neighborhood that sits above a plume of groundwater contaminated by solvents from a nearby DuPont munitions factory.

In that neighborhood, a state health study released in December found elevated kidney cancer rates among women and elevated non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma rates among men.

That report said several solvents in groundwater under the neighborhood 'cannot be ruled out as a potential cause of the elevated rates.' The solvents, TCE and PCE, have been linked to kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma."

James M. O’Neill and Elaine D’Aurizio report for the Bergen Record April 21, 2010.

Thursday, April 22, 2010