By David Madden

WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — A few thousand people in Gloucester County are dealing with tap water tainted with a chemical used in manufacturing, and no one is quite sure just how dangerous it might be.

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Larry Ragonese, with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, says what’s at issue here is levels of perfluorononanoic acid (“PFNAs”) in well water.

“We did find, last year, some levels in Paulsboro that were higher than we had seen elsewhere, and it raised an alert that made us take a look at the Paulsboro water system,” he said today.

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He said the DEP is offering charcoal filtration, which seems to correct the problem, which has now been found in wells in West Deptford and East Greenwich, NJ.

The source seems to be a West Deptford plastics company, Solvay, which is working with the state on finding the source and remediating.

Ragonese says PFNAs are what he calls an “emergent” concern, meaning that state and federal regulators are currently evaluating it.

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