MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health says elevated levels of a potentially-harmful chemical have been detected in New Brighton’s drinking water system.

Health officials say the presence of the chemical — 1, 4-Dioxane — does not pose an immediate health risk, but long-time exposure could present a cancer threat.

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The health department believes the source of the chemical is the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills, but that has not been confirmed.

Studies have shown no human cases of cancer linked to the chemical, but animal testing has suggested a possible risk. Officials say that even though the risk of citizens developing cancer is low, the threat cannot be ignored.

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City officials say plans for lowering the amount of the chemical in drinking water are being implemented. Wells that are free of the chemical will be used to provide potable water, and the city will stop providing water for neighboring Fridley.

A town hall meeting is set for May 2 at the New Brighton Community Center to address the issue.

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