Toenail clippings to measure toxic exposure in NJ

March 24, 2013 by Katie Zezima

(AP)—Some residents of a New Jersey town will soon be asked to turn over their toenails.

Scientists need them to measure if people who live in Garfield near a Superfund site have been exposed to hexavalent chromium.

It's a known . 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 .

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

Explore further: Study: Water chemical can cause cancer

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