Covered with storage tanks, smoke stacks, and holding pools, the old Chambers Works manufacturing site in southern New Jersey is an eyesore. From the bridge crossing the Delaware River, the industrial zone looks like a burnt patch, a brown splotch in the otherwise green of the river’s eastern shore. But the real problem with Chambers Works isn’t as visible.
Since 1892, when DuPont chose this site to house its smokeless gunpowder operations, Chambers Works has been ground zero for some of the world’s most environmentally devastating commercial enterprises. Now mostly abandoned, the roughly 2-square-mile area could serve as a museum of disastrous chemistry. Leaded gasoline; cancer-causing dyes; Kevlar, a synthetic fiber found to cause cancer in rats; Freon, a refrigerant that ate a hole in the ozone layer; neoprene, the production of which gives off a carcinogenic gas; refined uranium for atomic weapons; and PFOA, which now pollutes drinking water around the plant — and around the planet — are among the 1,200 chemical products DuPont made and stored at what was its largest manufacturing complex.
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Source: The Intercept_