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Bill Would Ban 1,4-Dioxane, ‘Probable Carcinogen,’ In New York

Hans Pennink
New York Assemblyman Steve Englebright, D- Setauket, speaks to environmental coalition groups during a rally at the state Capitol in Albany in 2016. Englebright recently introduced legislation in the state Assembly to ban the chemical 1,4-dioxane.

The New York State Assembly will consider a bill to ban 1,4-dioxane, a toxic chemical found in household products that has contaminated drinking water wells on Long Island.

The chemical is found in detergent, shampoo and soap and can be dangerous if consumed.

“1,4-dioxane is a toxic chemical that is listed by the U.S. EPA as a probable human carcinogen, which means it causes cancer. It specifically does damage to the liver and to the kidneys. This is a chemical we don’t want in our drinking water and we don’t want it in our common products,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The bill would require manufacturers to sell products with only trace amounts of the chemical.

Esposito said companies must do better to keep the public safe.

“The companies should be filtering it out before it gets into the product. The manufacturers can do this, very cost effectively, it’s just that right now the manufacturers choose not to.”

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright of East Setauket proposed the bill.

“We know that 1,4-dioxane is contaminating our drinking water on Long Island. We have serious contamination, more in fact on Long Island than in any other part of the state.”

The bill will go to the Environmental Conservation Committee next week and then on to the Assembly floor in the next couple of weeks.

Clean-up efforts are underway to remediate contaminated drinking water on Long Island.

Jill Ryan is a former news assistant at WSHU.
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