Community Update, September 2003
The Perkasie TCE assessment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will take soil, soil-vapor and groundwater samples in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Due to past industrial activities in the area, EPA is testing primarily for trichloroethylene (TCE). The testing will help find out:
- If there is TCE contamination.
- Is TCE moving from the sampling area, and if so, then how?
- Where, how much, and at what concentrations TCE exists? And most importantly,
- If there is a risk to human health and the environment.
What you may notice
Workers will be taking notes, photographs and samples. They may be wearing protective gear, such as coveralls, hardhats, gloves, and breathing masks.
Work will last two to four days. When the sample collection is finished, and the data from the samples is complete, EPA will hold a public information session with the community to:
- Show the sample results
- Discuss any potential heath risks
- Determine if any cleanup activities are necessary
What is TCE, and how can people be affected by it
- A nonflammable, colorless liquid.
- Is used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts.
- An ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.
TCE can enter the body by:
- Breathing in TCE vapors from contaminated soil and/or water;
- By drinking, swimming or showering in TCE-contaminated water; and
- By skin contact while manufacturing TCE products or using them at work to wash paint or grease from skin or equipment
Long-term exposure to TCE may cause liver and kidney damage, damage to the immune system, and possible birth defects.
Truck mounted Geoprobe (direct push) rig is preparing to collect samples. This is an example of the type of equipment you might see during this assessment. (Click to enlarge photo.)
For More Information
If you have questions about this project, please contact
Community Involvement Coordinator
If you have health-related questions about TCE, please contact
ATSDR Regional Representative
Or visit the website: www.atsdr.cdc.gov