Superfund Site Profile
The Welsbach & General Gas Mantle Contamination site is located in the cities of Camden and Gloucester City, New Jersey. The site includes two former incandescent gas mantle manufacturing facilities, as well as nearly 1,000 residential, commercial, industrial and recreational properties. The Welsbach Company manufactured gas mantles at its facility in Gloucester City from the 1890s through the 1940s, while the General Gas Mantle Facility (GGM) operated in Camden from 1912 to 1941. As part of the process to make the gas mantles, the radioactive substance thorium was used to make the mantles glow brighter. Some of the waste materials from the manufacturing process contained the radioactive elements thorium and radium. These elements give off gamma radiation as part of the process of radioactive decay. It is believed that these waste materials were used as fill throughout areas of Gloucester City and Camden. After site investigations, immediate actions were taken to protect human health and the environment. The site’s long-term cleanup is ongoing.