August 4, 2010 - Eighteen homes between the East Brookwood section of Byram and Sparta-Stanhope Road are contaminated with tricloroethylene.
Mel Hauptman from the Environmental Protection Agency Superfund explained what tricloroethylene is at a public meeting on July 29. He said it is a known hazardous substance commonly used as a solvent to remove oil and grease from metal and machinery. It's also used in spot removers and adhesives. It dissolves in water and can travel as a plume in underground aquifers for long periods of time. Tricloroethylene evaporates from surface water relatively quickly, producing hazardous fumes.
According to the EPA's Web site, possible health effects range from nausea and headaches to liver damage, heart conditions, various cancers, impaired fetal development and death.