• EPA looking into alleged exposure of toxic chemicals in Marion County drinking water

    By: Myrt Price , James Tutten

    Updated:

    OCALA, Fla. - The EPA just put out recommendations for how to deal with toxic chemicals found in flame retardant.

    There is now a class action lawsuit in Ocala where former employees of the Florida Fire College are suing because they say those chemicals made them sick.

    People who live near the fire college said after hearing about the contamination in the well at the school they're worried about their drinking water.


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    "I don't drink the water, I used to, I don't anymore” said Marion County resident John Dawson. “I'm even worried about taking showers."

    People who live near the area get their water from wells, and right now they're concerned after learning about contaminated groundwater.

    Six former employees of the college have filed a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of flame retardants.

    The lawsuit claims exposure to toxic chemicals caused serious medical conditions including thyroid disease, breast cancer and kidney cancer.

    Health officials tested the water at the college and found high levels of the harmful chemicals found in flame retardants.

    EPA officials released new recommendations Thursday on how to deal with the toxic chemicals. They announced plans to set new standards on the level of contamination in drinking water.

    The EPA wants new policies and procedures for cleanup of contaminated sites and new enforcement tools for the new standards. 

    As for residents, although they said health officials have tested their water, they admit they're still nervous.

    "They said you have trace amounts of that substance in there, but it’s nothing to worry about,” said Marion County resident Susan Griffis. “But my husband is like, ‘maybe it is something to worry about because we're drinking that.’"

    The EPS is also hoping to come up with better research methods to identify the toxic chemicals and better ways to get the word out the chemicals and their dangers.

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