Men and women employed by the Census Bureau in Jeffersonville, Indiana, are suing a dry cleaning company located across the street from their building. The 30 employees are claiming that the dry cleaner negligently contaminated their drinking water with a carcinogenic material called tetrachloroethylene.
Many of the employees involved in the lawsuit have developed cancer and liver disease. These employees have been drinking tap water for years that come from ground wells, which they believe were contaminated with the chemical because of carelessness on the part of the dry cleaner. The chemical is commonly used in dry cleaning. It has been traced back to the store.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has classified tetrachloroethylene as a likely carcinogen to humans. The Agency says long-term exposure to the chemical can lead to adverse effects in the:
- Immune system
- Hematologic system
- Reproductive system
In September, 2013, test results showed the presence of the chemical in the water. Then in April, 2014, further testing showed that the level of tetrachloroethylene in the water source was still in excess of federal contaminant levels.