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Leaked PCBs Not In Vigo County Drinking Water

Last updated on Wednesday, August 13, 2008

(TERRE HAUTE) - Tests show a toxic chemical leaked from a Terre Haute company during summer flooding has not shown up in nearby drinking water wells. But Vigo County residents aren’t in the clear yet.

Lagoons at a Pfizer wastewater plant in Vigo County contain PCBs, toxic chemicals that can cause birth defects or cancer. Water from these lagoons joined flood waters that spread around Vigo County in June.

IDEM Spokesman Bruce Palin says they're testing 11 properties and four wells around the Pfizer lagoon. The wells came up clear, but soil tests are still outstanding.

Still, Palin says PCBs in ground soil do not pose much of a threat to ground water. Palin says the wells were sealed and prevented any PCB-laden sediment from entering. He says IDEM may test more properties because it's unclear how far the PCBs spread in the county.

Palin says the chemical doesn't present immediate health risks, but exposure over a long period of time can be harmful.

Pfizer has been in the process of closing the contaminated lagoons for several years.

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