Tag Archive: Trichloroethylene

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Joe Wright
Activist Post

In a new report by the EPA, covered in the video below, a 1/2-mile-wide plume of trichloroethylene (TCE), PCE and vinyl chloride is polluting an area near a toxic Superfund site and contaminating a section of residential Mountain View, California.

The EPA test results come from the air and groundwater around the Middlefield, Ellis, Whisman Superfund site. Even though the results are being released now, the plume has been 30 years in the making and can cause serious health problems including cancer and child deformities.
It was not until a local investigative unit began asking questions that an independent probe was launched by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, according to an NBCBayArea.com report:

The chemical of most concern and most quantity in the toxic underground plume is a chemical called trichloroethylene, known as TCE. It’s a cleaning solvent once commonly used by the military and the budding semi-conducting industry 30 years ago.

The EPA says that TCE is a toxic solvent that causes cancer in people and heart deformities in unborn babies.


The higher than expected incidence of these cancers occurred during the years 1996 to 2005.

Now the EPA admits that until recently it had somehow missed some “hot spots” of higher than acceptable levels of TCE in groundwater and in the air in several homes and more than 20 commercial buildings in the area. (Source)

The EPA’s record of ignoring, downplaying, or “missing” environmental damage and the health effects on humans is unparalleled. From major events such as 9/11, the Exxon and Gulf oil spills to the worst case, Fukushima, they also have decidedly leaned toward letting Monsanto and Big Ag run wild.

Despite this dire report finally being released, they once again have shown their organization to be one of the least trustworthy and flat out dangerous government agencies.


Read Full Article  and Watch Video Here

Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air 

Force Base
by Staff Writers
Ann Arbor MI

Terra Daily


Core microanalytical components of the recently field-tested U-M analyzer. Image courtesy: Edward T. Zellers.

A lab-on-a-chip technology that measures trace amounts of air contaminants in homes was successfully field-tested by researchers at the University of Michigan. Even in the presence of 50 other indoor air contaminants, the U-M-built microsystem found levels of the targeted contaminant so low that it would be analogous to finding a particular silver dollar in a roll stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City.

“This is the first (known) study of its kind,” said Ted Zellers, professor in the U-M School of Public Health and the Department of Chemistry, and project director.

“Most lab-on-a-chip technologies are used for biomedical analysis of liquids,” Zellers said. “Our technology is designed for monitoring contaminants in the air, and this groundbreaking study is the first to prove that it can work outside the laboratory in real-life applications.”

The applications are potentially limitless because the device, called a microfabricated gas chromatograph, can be tailored to detect any contaminants, Zellers said. For instance, the team is adapting the same technology to detect certain industrial chemicals in the breath and saliva of exposed workers, biomarkers of cancer and other chronic disease, and markers of explosives for airport screening applications.

The Department of Defense contracted the U-M team to adapt and test two prototypes devices in homes near Utah’s Hill Air Force Base to measure indoor concentrations of trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE was used on military bases until the 1970s, and improper disposal caused TCE to become a pervasive groundwater contaminant that can seep into homes above plumes.

“The core microfabricated silicon chips, when stacked, are roughly the size of a wristwatch,” Zellers said. They require less power and can be made smaller and less expensively than traditionally manufactured counterparts.

The microsystem was designed and built by faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems in the College of Engineering.

Zellers said the group is currently negotiating with several companies interested in commercializing the technology.

A series of articles describing the results appeared this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Co-authors include Sun Kyu Kim, Hungwei Chang, and Jonathan Bryant-Genevier, of U-M; David Burris of IST, Inc., and Kyle Gorder and Erik Dettenmeier of Hill Air Force Base.


Related Links
University of Michigan
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up