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Pollution and Debris Threaten East Coast Waters after Hurricane Sandy

EMSL Analytical has developed advanced sewage contamination testing methods to ensure public health.


As Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters flow out to the coast, oil, pesticides, PCBs, and other dangerous chemicals will attach to sediment from streets, fields, lawns, and forests, and be carried out to open water, according to Yahoo News.

New York City officials are referring to the water supply as “toxic soup”, urging people to stay away from affected areas-especially areas like the Gowanus Canal Superfund site. In the Hudson River oil sheens and debris have been discovered, in addition to transmission fluid and leaking fuel tanks from destroyed boats and cars. There are also many pesticides, fertilizers, urban residue, and runoff putting large amounts of chemicals into the water supply.

An estimated 99 percent of physical debris is expected to wash up along the coast, causing contaminated beaches and bays. Officials are also concerned that the remaining polluted sediment will destroy marine life.

Sewage contamination is also a serious public health issue after flooding. It can affect drinking water and food supplies in addition to surface and recreational waters.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated between 1.8 million and 3.5 million Americans become sick each year after contact with surface water polluted with sewage, “ states Diane Miskowski,  Business Development Manager at EMSL Analytical. “EMSL Analytical has developed a variety of testing methods to determine the presence of fecal or sewage contamination: Culturable Sewage Screen Analysis, Total Bacteroides , Human Bacteriodes, and Human Polyomavirus using molecular identification techniques such as PCR"

For more information on EMSL’s testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675 ext 2528, visit, or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is the nation’s leading testing laboratory with over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. We are a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food, and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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