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Pilot Study

PCE Contamination and Neurobehavioral Health Among Children in Martinsville, IN


The Pike and Mulberry Streets of Martinsville, Indiana, is currently an EPA Superfund site with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and tetrachloroethylene (TCE) groundwater contamination. The possible contamination sources include several dry cleaning operations, with the main Potentially Responsible Party, Masterwear, a commercial and institutional dry cleaning and laundry business that operated from 1986-1991 within the area. To investigate the extent and levels of exposure, samples of tap water, indoor air, and exhaled breath were collected from 10 homes and 39 residents.


We detected PCE in all tap water samples and in 67% of indoor air samples, with some samples exceeding the EPA removal action level for residential indoor air. We detected PCE in the exhaled breath of all 39 residents. The elevated internal exposure levels were observed among individuals living not only in the EPA plume area, but also in other plume areas. TCE was not detected in any samples collected. ​



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