Toenail clippings to measure toxic exposure in NJ - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:49:34 GMT
    Gov. Chris Christie of New JerseyGov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
  • Reward in probe of shooting of bald eagle in NJ

    Reward in probe of shooting of bald eagle in NJ

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:32:30 GMT
    Federal, state, and humane organizations are offering $7,500 in rewards in the case of the shooting of bald eagle in New Jersey. Someone shot a bald eagle in in Bridgeton City Park back in May, authorities said. The badly wounded bird was found May 20, 2014. Its wounds were so severe that it had to be was euthanized.
    Federal, state, and humane organizations are offering $7,500 in rewards in the case of the shooting of bald eagle in New Jersey. Someone shot a bald eagle in in Bridgeton City Park back in May, authorities said. The badly wounded bird was found May 20, 2014. Its wounds were so severe that it had to be was euthanized.
  • 3 dead

    Fatal crash in Freehold

    Fatal crash in Freehold

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-08-19 22:49:36 GMT
    A three-vehicle crash killed three people and critically hurt a fourth person in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The crash happened on the Kosloski Road overpass at Route 33 Business at about 3:45 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
    A three-vehicle crash killed three people and critically hurt a fourth person in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The crash happened on the Kosloski Road overpass at Route 33 Business at about 3:45 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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