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Welsbach & General Gas Mantle Contamination
Gloucester City, NJ

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Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670
Kelley.jessicasophia@epa.gov

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EPA added the Welsbach & General Gas Mantle site in New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List on June 17, 1996 because radiological contamination was discovered at the site.  The site is comprised of two former gas mantle manufacturing sites and numerous residential properties in the cities of Camden and Gloucester City, New Jersey.  As part of the process to make the gas mantles, the radioactive substance thorium was used to make the mantles glow brighter.  Some of the waste materials or slag from the manufacturing process contained the radioactive elements thorium and radium.  These elements give off gamma radiation as part of the process of radioactive decay.  It is believed that these waste materials were used as fill throughout area of Gloucester City and Camden. 

In 1997, EPA began a study to determine the extent of radiological contamination in the Gloucester City and Camden areas and to evaluate the cleanup alternatives.  EPA investigated over 900 properties surrounding the two former gas mantle facilities in Camden and Gloucester City.  In 1999, based on the results of the study, EPA selected a remedy for the site which includes the excavation and off-site disposed of radiologically-contaminated soil and building materials and backfilling the areas with clean soil. 

In November 2001, EPA began its cleanup effort.  To reduce the short-term risks at the site from gamma radiation, EPA and the state have installed shielding on some properties, and demolished the former General Gas Mantle building in Camden.
EPA has removed radiologically-contaminated soils and buildings materials from over 80 residential properties.  Roughly 120,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and building materials from numerous locations in Gloucester City and Camden have been removed and disposed of.  EPA continues to excavate and dispose of contaminated soil and materials, and restore and replant excavated areas in Gloucester City and Camden. 


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