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Long Island volunteers to participate in study testing their blood for 1,4-dioxane

The new test scans a mother's blood for bits of a fetus's DNA.
A nurse draws a blood sample for testing.

Long Island volunteers will have their blood samples tested for 1,4-dioxane as part of a new study. The goal is to see if they were exposed to the toxic chemical, aside from drinking water.

Studies have linked the chemical to cancers in laboratory animals, along with liver and kidney damage.

New York has the highest standard for 1,4-dioxane in drinking water in the country, at one part-per-billion.

A state law that took effect this year, also limits the use of the toxic chemical in common household products. Things like shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap and more, cannot contain more than 2,000 parts-per-billion.

But, there is a clause in the law that allows companies to apply for a deferral for individual products for one year while they change their formulas.

The Citizens Campaign for the Environment is concerned that over 1,400 products have been deferred from having to comply this year.

The environmental group has partnered with the Yale Superfund Research Center to conduct the study. In addition to giving blood, 500 volunteers will be surveyed about their product and tap water use.

Pilot studies will begin this summer.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.