Lab retracts findings after tests indicated arsenic in water at NYCHA complex

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Friday, September 9, 2022
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Officials said the lab that originally found arsenic in the water at a NYCHA housing complex has issued a full retraction.

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The New York City Mayor's Office said Friday that the lab that originally found arsenic in the water at a NYCHA housing complex has issued a full retraction.

The lab also admitted to introducing arsenic into the water samples from the Jacob Riis Houses.

Throughout the holiday weekend, thousands of tenants at the Jacob Riis Houses were forced to use water bottles and portable water stations after being told not to drink or cook with the water from their taps.

NYCHA started testing the water a few weeks ago after reports of cloudy water. Last Friday, test results revealed traces of arsenic.

However, the press secretary for Mayor Eric Adams released a statement on Friday, saying the lab issued a full retraction and their initial results were "incorrect."

"Worse yet, the company has now admitted to being the ones that introduced arsenic into the samples, leading to the false results," the statement said.

ALSO READ | Water continues to test negative for arsenic at Manhattan NYCHA complex

"Environmental Monitoring and Technologies also today released results of a retest they initiated of the original samples and found the results to be negative for arsenic," the spokesman said. "This matches the separate retest we conducted through a different vendor, LiRo Environmental. We have now tested more than 140 points - both at the source and at the point of delivery - and we can confidently say the water at Riis Houses is and has been free of any discernable amount of arsenic since the initial tests were initiated in August. Needless to say, neither NYCHA nor any other city agency will test water through Environmental Monitoring and Technologies any longer, and the city intends to pursue all available legal options on behalf of the residents of Riis Houses."

Out of an abundance of caution, the mayor's office is advising residents not to drink or cook with water in their buildings until all final test results are returned and analyzed.

The office is vowing to remain transparent and provide updates as they get them.

Click here to read the full report from Environmental Monitoring and Technologies, Inc.

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