Organic Consumers Association

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Stamford Health Tests Find Pesticides in Wells Near Scofieldtown Park

City tests in response to contamination found in Scofieldtown Park have shown three homes near the former landfill have toxic pesticides in their private well water that are above levels that are safe to drink.

The city found two pesticides, dieldrin and chlordane, both banned from use for decades because of their potential to harm humans and wildlife, in private wells on Hannahs Road and Very Merry Road. One private well had levels of dieldrin 43 times above standards set by the state Department of Public Health. The same well had levels of chlordane nearly four times the state limit.

The potential health effects from ingesting chlordane in water include liver or nervous system problems and increased risk of  cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to an EPA report, laboratory studies with animals have shown oral exposure to dieldrin can cause various adverse neurological, reproductive and immunological effects.

The city moved to test private wells after a federal study revealed the presence of toxins in the soil at Scofieldtown Park. The park is located on property used as a landfill from the 1930s until the early 1970s, when the city covered the landfill and turned the tract into a recreation area. The landfill cap is permeable, and water runs from a creek in the park toward Hannahs Road, according reports from the EPA. Most, if not all, homes in the immediate vicinity of the park are not connected to city water lines and use private wells as their water source.  

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