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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ashland carcinogens

ASHLAND

People living in about 40 Ashland households were told today that they are being exposed to carcinogenic vapors from a former dye manufacturing factory that the Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to clean up for more than 20 years.

The EPA found low amounts of trichloroethene (TCE), a known cancer causing agent, in basements near what is now known as the Nyanza Superfund site.

“We don’t know that there is an imminent health risk,” EPA spokesman David Deegan told the Globe, “but we want to know we’re doing what we can as quickly as possible.”

The EPA is offering to install fans to ease the threat in any of the 40 homes at a cost of approximately $10,000 each.

Nyanza operated as a dye manufacturing facility from the 1910s to 1978. In April, state officials published a study that found that residents who swam in waters polluted by the dye factory had a higher rate of cancer.

-- Lisa Kocian

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