Read the full article by Nick Muscavage (MyCentralJersey)

“RAHWAY – The federal Environmental Protection Agency is considering a study into how municipal waste incinerators handle certain chemical compounds linked to cancer.

The study, which has not yet been finalized, would occur at the Covanta incinerator, also known as the Union County Resource Recovery Facility. The facility is located on the Rahway River.

The study would look at how municipal waste incinerators handle PFAS, or perfluorinated alkylated substances. PFAS can be found in nonstick frying pans, firefighting foam, waxes and paints.

According to the EPA, there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans, such as reproductive and developmental defects, liver and kidney damage, and immunological effects in laboratory animals.

The most consistent findings from human studies are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, as well as cancer, effects on infant birth weights, adverse effects on the immune system and thyroid hormone effects.

PFAS are so common that the chemical compound is inevitably found in everyday garbage that is already being processed by municipal waste facilities such as Covanta, which processes about 1,500 tons of solid waste each day in Union County.

It is unknown how PFAS react to the high temperatures of municipal waste incinerators, according to the EPA.

In the proposed study, the environmental agency would not be introducing PFAS to the Covanta incinerator, but rather a controlled amount of similar chemical compounds that the EPA says is non-hazardous in low levels…”