TCE Study of IBM Employees to Proceed

A representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reassured U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) on May 27 that a study to examine trichloroethylene exposure and cancer rates among 28,000 IBC employees who worked at the Endicott since 1964 will proceed as planned.

An update report had expressed concerns over the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study funding, but the representative told Hinchey it was misleading.

"I am very pleased that the NIOSH study is continuing to move forward as expected and that funding for it is not in jeopardy," Hinchey said. "This study will provide us with valuable statistics about the threat that TCE exposure and contamination has on our local communities. It is critical to our efforts to ensure that the public is protected from the chemical and that polluters are held accountable for its misuse."

The study, estimated to cost $3.1 million, is being funded from the existing NIOSH budget.

According to Hinchey, the CDC sent him an e-mail, which said: "CDC has begun the study -- with protocol development and external peer review - and will continue with data collection and analysis for the next two years. CDC is spending approximately $400,000 with FY 08 funds. CDC will spend what is required next year to fund the data collection and analysis part of the study."

TCE has made its way into 400 to500 homes in Hinchey's congressional district as a result of vapor intrusion. Six years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted a Health Risk Assessment, endorsed by its Science Advisory Board that determined TCE to be 5 to 65 times more toxic than originally thought. The New York State Department of Health and ATSDR have released results from a series of health statistics review studies of residents exposed to TCE that reveal increased rates of certain types of cancers, specifically kidney and testicular cancers, and congenital heart defects for people and infants living in the area of the Endicott TCE spill.

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