Testing for trichloroethylene at a middle school in Hanover has shown no unsafe levels of the known carcinogen—yet.
But officials say tests will continue to determine possible TCE contamination there and at other properties near the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab.
TCE was used as a refrigerant at the lab from 1960 to 1987. The search extends to adjacent properties, including some owned by Dartmouth College, where employees live.
Dartmouth College spokesman Justin Anderson says only one of those homes so far has tested positive for TCE, at levels too low to threaten human health. But he understands tenants’ concerns.
“It’s a little bit anxiety producing when you see that there’s this chemical TCE that’s seeping through the soil and we understand that and what we are trying to do is increase residents’ level of comfort through the best information that we have delivered from experts around the state,” Anderson said.
Anderson says the College will help some of its tenants move if they choose to. Meanwhile, the tests for TCE will continue for another few weeks. Darrell Moore directs the project for the Army Corps of Engineers.
“Residents should know that we’re making sure that we are exhausting this investigation to make sure that there are no pathways and that nobody is in harm’s way,” Moore said.
Moore says remediating TCE vapors migrating through soils is similar to mitigating radon.