State awaits new tests on unsafe cadmium levels at Camden landfill

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CAMDEN, Tenn. — Tennessee residents living near an abandoned landfill are anxiously waiting for secondary lab tests to be completed after recent groundwater tests showed more than five times the acceptable amount of cadmium.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the metal is a highly toxic metal known to cause cancer. It can also cause flu-like symptoms, lung damage, kidney and bone disease, and can target multiple systems within the human body.

The Tennessean reported residents who blamed the landfill for nausea, foul odors and other health problems filed a lawsuit against its operator last year.

Environmental Waste Solutions received permission from the state Environment and Conservation department to accept “special wastes” defined as “difficult or dangerous to manage” from aluminum, coal and railroad industries.

State Solid Waste Management director Patrick Flood said high silt levels and different cadmium amounts in duplicate tests raised possibilities of false-positives. New tests are currently being conducted.