PORT WASHINGTON - Some residents say that PSEG's plan to put up 80-foot tall utility poles will be an eyesore and a health risk.

Environmentalists say the wooden poles are treated with pentachlorophenol, commonly called penta.

It is considered a hazardous chemical by the EPA, but it is approved for use in utility poles.

Some residents are worried that children could be hurt by playing near them.

"Getting a splinter which has pentachlorophenol in it can actually go directly into the blood stream and it’s really a danger," says Patricia Wood, of Grassroots Environmental Education.

PSEG LI says penta-treated utility poles have been used in the area for 40 years without any problems.

It says state Health Department tests have found no penta contamination in the Island's drinking water.

However, it says if the EPA reverses its rules for using penta in utility poles, it will not use them any more.
     

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