Residents of Dickson County, Tennessee are concerned a local landfill containing large amounts of toxic chemicals
may be causing a rise in cancer
diagnoses. According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, nearly 1,500 residents use private water wells near the landfill, from which citizens believe toxic substances may be seeping into the groundwater. An area consulting firm, the Environmental Management and Engineering Inc. of Nashville, is conducting well-water sampling for evidence of contamination.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
reportedly found high levels of the hazardous substance trichloroethylene (TCE)
in one family's well in 1991 but insisted their water was still safe to drink. State officials say they accepted the EPA's decision at the time. The EPA, however, maintains the state should have conducted more tests because the landfill lies under the state's regulatory authority.
Barrels of toxic waste, many containing TCE, were reportedly buried at the landfill throughout the 1960s and 1970s. TCE can cause serious health problems. For instance, trichloroethylene may be carcinogenic. In addition, breathing elevated levels of trichloroethylene or inhalation of the substance over an extended period of time may cause heart problems
; nerve, lung
, and liver damage
; and death
. Breathing small amounts of trichloroethylene over a short duration can cause headaches
, lung irritation, dizziness
, poor coordination, and difficulty concentrating. Ingestion of trichloroethylene may cause nausea
; liver and kidney damage; nervous system and immune system problems
; convulsions; impaired fetal development; heart problems; coma; and death.
See your doctor if you live in Dickson County and you have experienced serious health problems. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Specific Contaminated Sites