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Toxic vapors found on 2 Wake Forest properties

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources says 12 of 14 homes tested in Wake Forest do not have dangerous levels of the toxic vapors TCE or PCE.

Four months ago, 21 families living near Stony Hill Road learned that they'd been drinking a carcinogen called trichloroethylene, or TCE. DENR took soil samples two weeks ago from 14 of the properties to check for TCE and perchloroethylene, or PCE.

On Monday, DENR received the results of those tests, and found that two of the properties did test positive for the toxic vapors. One of the properties is an empty lot, and the other has vapors underground only.

The homes that did not test positive, DENR says, either showed no traces of TCE or PCE contamination, or were below screening levels for those contaminants.

"We're right back down to square one. The property value is gone again," homeowner Frank Cuda said. "If you give anyone a reason not to buy your house they're not going to buy your house. I mean the values -- there's zero to the value. It's like, 'Oh yeah, you can come in as long as you are wearing some sort of breathing apparatus. You'll be safe here."

The N.C. Division of Waste Management will conduct additional vapor testing in the next 30 days.

In 2002, TCE was dumped from a building on Stony Hill Road. DENR was alerted about the contamination in 2005, and nearly seven years later, in June 2012, the EPA confirmed TCE had spread to the private water wells of 21 families.

About two and a half miles north of Stony Hill Road, another neighborhood, Mangum Estates, is also dealing with water contamination. Nine homes in Mangum Estates have dangerous levels of water contamination.

State and federal officials, however, do not believe that the TCE contamination in Mangum Estates is connected to the Stony Hill Road area contamination.

TCE can cause cancer, coma and even death.

 

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

Poison in the Water

There are at least 2,000 sites statewide where DENR knows there is TCE contamination that is likely spreading into the water of unsuspecting families. More>>

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