Toenail clippings to measure toxic exposure in NJ - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Toenail clippings to measure toxic exposure in NJ

Posted: Updated:
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

So-called toenail kits are being distributed to residents in Garfield, N.J. The hope is that the nail clippings will help scientists determine whether toxins from an EPA Superfund site are making people sick.

Exposure to hexavalent chromium is what scientists from NYU's Department of Environmental Medicine will be looking for when they analyze the toenail samples, according to Professor Judith Zelikoff. Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen linked to lung and intestinal cancers.

The main culprit is the EC electroplating factory, which was the site of a major chemical spill in 1983. The plant was recently demolished by the EPA. But that has done little to quell the concerns of residents like Don Calderio who was born and raised in Garfield and lives across the street from the Superfund site.

A tell-tale sign of the toxin is yellow dust or crystals, which are left behind if a basement floods. They can be extremely harmful if inhaled.

In 2009 the EPA tested hundreds of homes in the plants vicinity and found 13 had elevated chromium levels in their basements, though Calderio's wasn't one of them.

While the latest state data shows no elevated cancer risk for Garfield, City Manager Tom Duch said people are still worried.

"People are concerned about whether or not they've been exposed," he said.

That is where the toenail tests come in. The team hopes to collect 250 samples.

"Toenail clippings are a very non invasive simple way of testing for chromium in the body," Zelikoff said.

The NYU researchers will be distributing e toenail kits for the next few weeks. If you are interested in participating you should contact them, but you must be a no smoker and a non diabetic. The hope is that the overall results will be complete later this year.

Contact Bernadette.Rexford@nyumc.org

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Funeral held for NJ cop killed in crash

    Funeral held for NJ cop killed in crash

    The man accused of driving the tractor-trailer that slammed into a police officer operating a radar gun in Waldwick, New Jersey, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide. Ryan Cumberbatch, of Brooklyn, made an initial court appearance in Hackensack on Monday. Cumberbatch only spoke during the brief hearing to say he understood the charge. His attorney said they wouldn't comment out of respect for the police officer's family.
    The man accused of driving the tractor-trailer that slammed into a police officer operating a radar gun in Waldwick, New Jersey, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide. Ryan Cumberbatch, of Brooklyn, made an initial court appearance in Hackensack on Monday. Cumberbatch only spoke during the brief hearing to say he understood the charge. His attorney said they wouldn't comment out of respect for the police officer's family.
  • Jane Dornick "BusyBusy Mom" please guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor

    Jane Dornick "BusyBusy Mom" please guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:30 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:30:37 GMT
    Photo courtesy of TAPinto.netPhoto courtesy of TAPinto.net
    South Plainfield resident Jane Dornick, 53, pleaded guilty, prior to the selection of a jury, to Count One of an indictment charging her with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Dornick was arrested on Feb. 19, 2013. The remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing. Dornick entered her plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court.
    South Plainfield resident Jane Dornick, 53, pleaded guilty, prior to the selection of a jury, to Count One of an indictment charging her with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Dornick was arrested on Feb. 19, 2013. The remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing. Dornick entered her plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court.
  • AT&T cell antennas face legal snag; public will make its case Sept. 18 before vote

    AT&T cell antennas face legal snag; public will make its case Sept. 18 before vote

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:28 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:28:36 GMT
    Photo courtesy of TAPinto.netPhoto courtesy of TAPinto.net
    In November of last year, ATT attorney Judy Fairweather promised: "I will come back with an army (of experts)" in her bid to convince the Zoning Board of Adjustment to grant multiple variances that would allow her company to install 12 cell antennas on the NJ American Water Tower on Buxton Road. At the end of the meeting on Thursday, Fairweather all but sounded retreat after bowing to the request by residents, who asked that the next meeting be moved to Sept. 18.
    In November of last year, ATT attorney Judy Fairweather promised: "I will come back with an army (of experts)" in her bid to convince the Zoning Board of Adjustment to grant multiple variances that would allow her company to install 12 cell antennas on the NJ American Water Tower on Buxton Road. At the end of the meeting on Thursday, Fairweather all but sounded retreat after bowing to the request by residents, who asked that the next meeting be moved to Sept. 18.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices