In a new report by the EPA, covered in the video below, a 1/2-mile-wide plume of trichloroethylene (TCE), PCE and vinyl chloride is polluting an area near a toxic Superfund site and contaminating a section of residential Mountain View, California.
The EPA test results come from the air and groundwater around the Middlefield, Ellis, Whisman Superfund site. Even though the results are being released now, the plume has been 30 years in the making and can cause serious health problems including cancer and child deformities.
It was not until a local investigative unit began asking questions that an independent probe was launched by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, according to an NBCBayArea.com report:
The chemical of most concern and most quantity in the toxic underground plume is a chemical called trichloroethylene, known as TCE. It’s a cleaning solvent once commonly used by the military and the budding semi-conducting industry 30 years ago.
The EPA says that TCE is a toxic solvent that causes cancer in people and heart deformities in unborn babies.
The higher than expected incidence of these cancers occurred during the years 1996 to 2005.
Now the EPA admits that until recently it had somehow missed some “hot spots” of higher than acceptable levels of TCE in groundwater and in the air in several homes and more than 20 commercial buildings in the area. (Source)
The EPA’s record of ignoring, downplaying, or “missing” environmental damage and the health effects on humans is unparalleled. From major events such as 9/11, the Exxon and Gulf oil spills to the worst case, Fukushima, they also have decidedly leaned toward letting Monsanto and Big Ag run wild.
Despite this dire report finally being released, they once again have shown their organization to be one of the least trustworthy and flat out dangerous government agencies.
A new report from NBC Bay Area shows a toxic plume of trichloroethylene, or TCE, is contaminating a swath of Mountain View, California.
TCE is a known carcinogen and can also cause heart deformities in unborn children. In places along the plume the EPA has measured levels of TCE at 130,000 parts per billion. The organization considers five parts per billion unsafe.
New test results from the Environmental Protection Agency show an increase of contaminated air and ground 1.5 miles long and half a mile wide, affecting both residential and commercial areas. It’s got local residents, like Theresa Larrieu, on edge.
“Scared. Nervous. Worried. Very worried,” Larrieu said when asked to describe her emotions. “(There’s) way more suspense than I need in my life.”
But others are satisfied with the countermeasures the EPA has put in place.
CBS Local explains: the contamination is thought to be leftover from semiconductor industries that operated in the area back in the 80s and 90s.
“They used a mix of chemicals, including Trichloroethylene, to make computer chips. Those chemicals contaminated the water table; now they’re escaping up through the ground in the form of toxic vapors…”
Right into some of the offices of a current Silicon Valley giant: Google. The Next Web got Google’s statement: the company is aware of the problem.
“The health and safety of our employees is Google’s number one priority, and we take several proactive measures to ensure the healthiest indoor air environments possible.”
Those include air-quality testing when Google moved into the offices last June, and extensive filtration to keep the air clean.
But the Mountain View Voice quotes an EPA spokesperson who said there’s still no reason to be worried. (emphasis added)
“The potential health concern is long-term exposure to TCE. Any exposure would have been for a limited time, a short term. There hasn’t been any exposure for a long period of time.”