Scientists request toenail clippings from New Jersey town for testing

Nearby Superfund site may cause cancer

GARFIELD, N.J. - Scientists are asking the residents of a New Jersey town to hand over their toenail clippings.

Scientists need them to measure if people who live in Garfield near a Superfund site have been exposed to hexavalent chromium, a metal that is known to cause cancer. For the past 30 years it's been in the ground in part of the city.

Researchers from New York University want to measure whether residents have been exposed to dangerous levels of chromium. The scientists say toenails grow slowly and retain chromium.

The metal spilled out of an electroplating factory in 1983 and was never fully cleaned up.  A plume of it has now spread three-quarters of a mile from the site and into a neighboring city.

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