If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:
In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.
Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.
These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.
In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.
One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:
Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.
When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.
Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.
Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.
This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.
During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.
Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.
There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.
Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.
That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.
When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.
If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Farmingdale, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.
The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.
For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.
A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.
Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.
While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.
Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.
The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Farmingdale, NJ, including the following:
You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.
Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.
It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Farmingdale, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.
Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.
Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.
When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:
Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.
New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.732-526-2497
Farmingdale outdoor art installation pays homage to dinosaurs, and is a chance for kids - and grownups - to learn dino facts.Posted Tue, Sep 26, 2023 at 5:57 pm ET|FARMINGDALE, NJ — Dinosaurs are coming to the woods of Farmingdale on an interactive trail, hosted by the Farmingdale Recreation Commission.The Dinosaur Trail will be this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 1, also from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The trail's opening was delayed after last weekend's storm.Realistic painting...
Posted Tue, Sep 26, 2023 at 5:57 pm ET|
FARMINGDALE, NJ — Dinosaurs are coming to the woods of Farmingdale on an interactive trail, hosted by the Farmingdale Recreation Commission.
The Dinosaur Trail will be this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 1, also from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The trail's opening was delayed after last weekend's storm.
Realistic paintings on 8-foot-high plywood will feature a variety of dinosaur types - such as T-Rex - that will populate the woods behind the Community Center on Asbury Avenue, courtesy of artist Dave Castaldo, a borough resident.
"The goal of the trail is to bring excitement, wonder and education to the children in the area with some fun basic history," said Erika Bamonte, a member of the Recreation Commission.
She said the idea and execution of the Dinosaur Trail was designed by local photographer Kella MacPhee.
The dinosaurs were created by artist and art teacher at South Brunswick High School Castaldo, who also is Bamonte's husband.
One fun aspect of the trail is that MacPhee will set up interactive elements. She had children in town record interesting facts about each type of dinosaur, Bamonte said.
That way, when kids push the button for the explanation, they will hear kids voices do the narration - or maybe even their own.
Bamonte said the idea to bring a dinosaur trail to the borough was also inspired, in part, after large dinosaur sculptures created on a trail in Allaire State Park were destroyed in an act of vandalism last year.
"We realized that there is a dino-loving crowd who would appreciate an event like this," she said.
Last October, large dinosaur sculptures made from branches and limbs were found destroyed at the Wall park. On the Portraits of the Jersey Shore Facebook site, many mourned the loss of those fantastic - and famous - figures created by artist Robin Ruggiero.
The Farmingdale exhibit will bring some of that spirit of whimsy and creativity to the borough that has a walkable, charming downtown.
Bamonte said people can make a nice day trip, visiting shops in town and having a "bite" to eat.
And while admission is free, Bamonte said donations are greatly appreciated to help continue to fund even more free community events the Recreation Commission has planned.
She said the commission works as a team to create fun, free events that bring the whole town - and visitors - together.
There has been another Fairy Trail and Medieval festival, but coming soon will be some popular trails, such as the Halloween and the Holiday Trails.
The Recreation Commission keeps busy all year round, and different members spearhead different events, Bamonte said.
"But we all pitch in," she said. "if someone needs something, we're there!"
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Farmingdale residents got an update on an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup schedule for chemical-containing drums in Howell. |Updated Wed, Apr 5, 2023 at 9:43 pm ETFARMINGDALE, NJ — A second community meeting Wednesday provided more information to the public about plans to secure hundreds of drums containing chemicals used at a former industrial site in neighboring Howell.The former Compounders Inc. site at 15 Marl Road in Howell was found to be the sloppily kept home of 200 to 300 drums containing various...
|Updated Wed, Apr 5, 2023 at 9:43 pm ET
FARMINGDALE, NJ — A second community meeting Wednesday provided more information to the public about plans to secure hundreds of drums containing chemicals used at a former industrial site in neighboring Howell.
The former Compounders Inc. site at 15 Marl Road in Howell was found to be the sloppily kept home of 200 to 300 drums containing various chemicals and compounds used in making adhesives and glue.
On Feb. 9, a fire there brought the situation to light for Howell officials when firefighters had to put out a chemical blaze in some of the drums. The cause of that fire is currently under investigation by the state Attorney General's office.
Now, residents in Howell and Farmingdale - right on the border of the site - are concerned about the impact not only from the smoke from the fire but from the years the site was in operation, albeit as a permitted use.
There was an initial community meeting March 21. On Wednesday, a meeting was held at the Farmingdale Community Center because the site is right on the border of the borough.
Inaction by owners of the site about conditions there seems to have gone unaccounted for by the state Department of Environmental Protection, residents learned last night. But enforcement action is "imminent," a state representative at the meeting said, adding that she did not want to jeopardize the action with more comment.
But residents are hoping for fast action to remove the drums and clean and monitor the site for air and groundwater quality, speakers said at the meeting.
Howell Deputy Mayor Evelyn O'Donnell, who said she lives two miles from the site and has well water, said the EPA should not only work quickly to deal with the site but it should "be running" to clean it up.
And the federal Environmental Protection Agency now seems to be in a better position to begin the sprint - or the marathon, as may be necessary.
The next steps
Michael Mannino, the onsite coordinator for the project for the EPA, said at the meeting that just on Tuesday the agency acquired a site access agreement to allow it legally to be on the site and take control of the assessment and removal work there. The cleanup will not be left in the hands of the property owner, in other words.
On Wednesday, removal contractors did an initial "site walk" with the contractors, he said.
He said early next week the drums will start to be brought inside, out of the elements, to a warehouse on the site, all in preparation for the ultimate re-containerizing of the drums and their removal. The site is now fenced and has 24/7 manned security, he has said.
Perimeter and off-site air monitoring will be set up as part of this process, he said in a slide presentation. There will also be on-site containment in the form of a berm or a boom in case there should be any accidental release from a container while doing the work, the EPA information said.
"I'm on the site every day. It's the only site I'm assigned to," said Mannino, who lives in Monmouth County.
Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley attended the meeting last night, and she too expressed urgency and support.
As Health and Human Services liaison for the Board of County Commissioners, she said she wants every town "to be healthy and happy." The county "will see this through," she said.
That's the least that residents said they expect.
Lots of questions, no easy answers
For example, the recent tornado that touched down Saturday in parts of the town made some residents feel there is a great urgency to not only get the drums indoors, but completely remove them from the site as soon as possible.
There were also questions about plans for testing air and water quality in the area.
Another slide indicated that the EPA and state DEP will conduct a potable well search in a 500-foot radius of the site. So far one potable drinking water well was located. Its water is being tested for volatile organic compounds, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, metals and extractable petroleum hydrocarbons, the EPA information said.
The information also indicated there is no immediate threat to the Manasquan River, the source of the Manasquan River Reservoir, four miles downstream.
While state and county health officials are being brought into the assessment of the site, the EPA has "minimal environmental data" to make "health-based determinations" at this time, the EPA information said.
One resident said she has an organic garden, and she is concerned about runoff and surface water impacts from the site - not only the groundwater.
Another woman said she met a person who worked at the site as a teenager who might have some historical information about the site. Mannino asked that speaker to provide the contact so he could follow up.
Howell Councilman Fred Gasior said that he, as a former state trooper, would like accountability for how the site was run and monitored since it opened in the late 1970s. The industrial operation went on until 2019 and then the stock of the company - the business - was sold in 2021, but not the property.
"I'm looking to point a finger," he said.
Another resident with a degree in environmental policy said her child seems to have a more persistent cough and she has noticed kids have had rashes since the fire. Her doctor told her "allergy season was early."
She asked that schools be kept fully in the loop of communication, too.
She also asked what chemicals are being monitored for air quality and was told by Mannino that there is a five-gas monitor of the type used at refineries and he said no VOC, or volatile organic chemicals, have been detected.
Howell has set up a website dedicated to updates on the project.
The site at https://www.twp.howell.nj.us/610/15-Marl-Road includes recent activities, emergency alerting, evacuation routes and additional information about the site. Video of meetings is available too.
To read more Patch news about the 15 Marl Road cleanup site, you can refer to the following stories:
A township website will provide information - and alerts - about the cleanup of toxic waste at a former Howell manufacturing facility. |Updated Tue, Mar 28, 2023 at 3:57 pm ETHOWELL, NJ — The township has set up a new website dedicated to information on a Marl Road chemical cleanup so residents can get updates about the project and sign up for alerts.Howell and Farmingdale residents expressed concern at a ...
|Updated Tue, Mar 28, 2023 at 3:57 pm ET
HOWELL, NJ — The township has set up a new website dedicated to information on a Marl Road chemical cleanup so residents can get updates about the project and sign up for alerts.
Howell and Farmingdale residents expressed concern at a recent community meeting about the cleanup at the former Compounders Inc. site, and dissatisfaction with information and communication was a common theme of comments.
The new website was promised as a way to provide more accessible information.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has been onsite at 15 Marl Road since Feb. 15 to re-containerize 200 to 300 drums containing waste from an adhesives and asphalt manufacturing operation. It will remove the drums for disposal. The state will then oversee the ultimate cleanup of the site. The conditions there were uncovered when Howell firefighters responded to a drum fire at the site on Feb. 9.
But right now, residents are concerned about the impact of the drums on groundwater and air quality, and many expressed the need for more direct contact, especially about any evacuation plans.
The Howell Township website https://www.twp.howell.nj.us/610/15-Marl-Road includes recent activities, emergency alerting, evacuation routes and additional information about the site.
“We wanted to create a single source where people could find the most up-to-date information about 15 Marl Road," said Township Manager Joseph Clark.
"Our goal is to get information from the authorities in charge of the site out to the public as quickly as possible.”
The state Department of Environmental Protection stepped in soon after the fire, the township said at a recent Township Council meeting, taking the lead on the project.
Clark said the township will also include a link to the state DEP DataMiner function on the site "so that people can access historical documents relating to the site."
There is a link now listed to the DataMiner site on the township website, and by doing an "Advanced Search" visitors can narrow down results. You can see the site ID number and name there to help in the search.
He said that by "creating a single source of information for our residents, we hope that it will allow them to be fully informed."
Another important aspect of the new website is its spot to sign up for emergency alerts. You can click here to sign up for the alerts - and anyone can sign up. You do not have to be a Howell resident.
According to the site, people can enter multiple phone numbers, text numbers, or email addresses to receive emergency messages from township officials.
People can also add one or more street addresses to an account, which can be used for any location-based messages.
Compounders Inc. used to make adhesives and asphalt products, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's background on the site. The company operated for several decades, but stopped operation in 2019. The stock was sold in 2021, but not the property.
Residents who spoke at the separate community meeting Tuesday said they are worried about their health and about any future emergency that might take place at the site. And they want the materials at the site to be identified as quickly as possible and have the area tested for any spread of contamination.
Although the cleanup is in Howell, the site is right on the border of Farmingdale, the last parcel of land in Howell before Farmingdale. The township developed an evacuation plan for Farmingdale, but residents said at the March 21 meeting they felt the plan needed to be more complete and address the needs of children in schools or daycare in the area.
You can now see the evacuation plan on the township Marl Road website.
The EPA is developing a workplan for the site and will share that with the public as soon as it is approved.
But the priority right now, according to Michael Mannino, onsite coordinator for the EPA, is to:
The site is now fenced and has 24/7 manned security, he said.
Mannino said the drums will be "re-containerized" for removal and a berm will be constructed to prevent any runoff. He also said that electronic equipment is picking up no airborne chemicals during the cleanup.
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HOWELL — Residents have been notified that they might need to evacuate as a result of an illegal chemical dump discovered after a fire at a former chemical manufacturing site in February.After firefighters smelled a chemical odor during a fire at the former Compounders site on Marl Road on Feb. 9 on the Farmingdale border, the Monmouth County Department of Health was called in to investigate.ADVERTISEMENTTheir initial examination of the property found "large quantities" of 55-gallon drums and smaller cont...
HOWELL — Residents have been notified that they might need to evacuate as a result of an illegal chemical dump discovered after a fire at a former chemical manufacturing site in February.
After firefighters smelled a chemical odor during a fire at the former Compounders site on Marl Road on Feb. 9 on the Farmingdale border, the Monmouth County Department of Health was called in to investigate.
Their initial examination of the property found "large quantities" of 55-gallon drums and smaller containers around the property. They also discovered materials spilled on the ground, open drums and solid waste.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Emergency Response found 200-300 drums and containers on the property, many of which are bulging, rusting, denting, or leaking.
The discovery led the township's Office of Emergency Management to establish evacuation routes from the site for residents within a one-mile radius in both Howell and Farmingdale in case of an emergency despite the "very low" risk of the release of any potentially hazardous material.
"After all drums are removed from the property, an investigation will be ongoing with the state NJDEP and EPA to determine what, if any, impacts have occurred to groundwater, soil or surface water," OEM said in their letter last month.
In a letter to residents dated April 17, OEM said air monitors have been placed at two locations outside the property. The EPA has started to sample the chemicals in order to identify them plus sort and arrange the containers, They say this reduces the risk of fire or a need for evacuation.
OEM Director Victor Cook said that as a precaution for any emergency residents should prepare a "go bag" if they have to evacuate.
Part of the EPA's investigation is to determine any potential impact to groundwater, soil or surface water. The EPA's updates have not addressed the issue.
According to New Jersey American Water's 2021 Water Quality Report for the Coastal North system, the drinking water supply for Howell, Farmingdale and neighboring Lakewood comes from 14 wells and one surface water supply, the Manasquan River/Reservoir.
The well water is drawn from aquifers beneath the surface including the Englishtown aquifer, Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, Mount Laurel-Wenonah aquifer, Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer, upper Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer, and Vincentown aquifer.
Compounds manufactured a number of chemical compounds, including glues, adhesives, and asphalt materials, according to the EPA. The facility closed in 2019 and was sold in 2021 as part of a stock sale.
Mystery barrels leaking in a New Jersey community could take months to contain and remove as environmental crews continue sorting through the hundreds of drums at an abandoned site.A team from the Environmental Protection Agency has been on hand since last month, making their way through more than 400 rusting drums that have, for decades, contained chemicals used to make adhesives and asphalt.In recent years, the hundreds of drums and more than 1,000 smaller containers containing potentially hazardous materials have deteriorate...
Mystery barrels leaking in a New Jersey community could take months to contain and remove as environmental crews continue sorting through the hundreds of drums at an abandoned site.
A team from the Environmental Protection Agency has been on hand since last month, making their way through more than 400 rusting drums that have, for decades, contained chemicals used to make adhesives and asphalt.
In recent years, the hundreds of drums and more than 1,000 smaller containers containing potentially hazardous materials have deteriorated, leading to a potentially dangerous outcome for neighbors. Last month, schools and homeowners in Monmouth County were told to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.
Many of the drums at the former Farmingdale industrial plant, which borders Howell, were found to be leaking, rusting and bulging. The plant has long been shut down, but the barrels stuck around.
A spokesperson for the EPA said "significant progress" has been made in securing the drums, but none of the chemicals have been removed from the site. The disposal process will take some time as teams continue identifying what is inside the barrels and determine the best course of removal.
One nearby resident told NBC New York that she remembers decades ago when her children were coming home from school around lunchtime, and they saw the lids exploding, up in the air.
That kind of thing is still entirely possible at the site, because no one knows for sure what chemicals are still present.
Earlier in 2023, the new owner was burning some barrels in an old incinerator on the property, when the fumes and particulate pollution drifted into nearby neighborhoods, alarming first responders who rushed to put the fire out.
When Eric Daly, the on-scene coordinator for the EPA, was asked about those exploding lids 40 years ago, he said "You’re basically proving the reason we’re taking our time with this."
With some 4,000 students going to school within the one-mile hot zone that reaches into Howell, residents are urged to have a go-pack for an evacuation that could be called at any time if the chemicals catch on fire.
"Everybody should have an evacuation plan or get-out-of-here plan just in case," said Howell-Farmingdale OEM Director Victor Cook.
That being said, the EPA does feel it has the situation under as much control as it can without knowing what’s on the site. The agency hopes everything can be hauled away by the end of summer or shortly thereafter. Then it will have to deal with whatever pollution it finds in the soil and possibly in the groundwater.