Residents learn about possible cancer-causing pollutant in LI drinking water
Residents learned about a potentially cancer-causing pollutant in Long Island’s drinking water and how the community can help researchers learn more about it.
The Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Assemblywoman Taylor Darling sponsored the event in Hempstead Thursday night.
News about the presence of 1,4 dioxane in Long Island drinking water isn't new.
"This is a contaminant that has been found to be prevalent in Long Island's drinking water supply,” said Citizens Campaign for the Environment executive director Adrienne Esposito.
What is new is a study looking to learn more about this molecule's impact on our bodies. Thursday night’s meeting about the pollutant and the study is what brought Hempstead resident Phylicia Forde out.
"Everyone should tell a friend, but this is an issue that is not going to go away,” she said. “We need to have more exposure to this issue."
Advocates and researchers from Yale University spoke with long islanders about the study and what we know so far about 1,4 dioxane.
It's found in many common household products like Tide.
Some research also suggests 1,4, dioxane could cause kidney and liver cancer.
According to Citizens' Campaign For The Environment, communities of color - like Hempstead - often have higher levels of the 1,4 dioxane than others.
"They are concerned. They want more information,” said Esposito. “They want to know what they can do and they also want to know more about how clean water can be available to them."
Yale needs Long Islanders to participate in their study to better understand and detect the carcinogen. Some, like Bill Pavone from Seaford, eagerly said yes.
"The more information we know, the more we can react based on that information,” said Pavone. “I wanna be a guinea pig for this one."
Forde said she’s still considering it.
"I'm really thinking about it because I've lived in the village for over two decades and it's really concerning, not just for myself, but for my family and my neighborhood,” she said.
Many asked what they can do to protect themselves from the carcinogen.
If you're concerned about 1,4 dioxane in your drinking water, advocates recommend reaching out to your local water authority to see what they are doing to filter the molecules and for a copy of their water report.
Those looking to participate in the Yale study can learn more here.
Learn more about 1,4 dioxane here