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More Health Concerns Along the Gowanus


(Brooklyn, New York) – New health concerns have popped up along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting, an environmental database firm, says very high levels of air and soil toxins were found. Levels of air toxins inside one building near the Gowanus Canal were said to be 450 times the State Health Department’s recommended threshold. Since last September, the Department of Environmental Conservation has quietly investigated about 100 blocks for contamination including testing the soil and air.

One property called ‘Property Two’ had 900 micrograms per cubic meter of trichloroethylene in the indoor air. The allowable amount is only two micrograms per cubic meter. The chemical trichloroethylene has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease. To address the community’s concern regarding soil vapor intrusion from the industrial legacy of the Gowanus Area, DEC is completing a Gowanus Area Wide Soil Vapor Intrusion Investigation.

With new construction in the area, residents are concerned it could be unleashing new issues or contributing to old ones. Some residents fear the testing, saying results could lower property values.