Overall, the most significant contaminants probably are the chlorinated solvents, which were used in dry cleaning, degreasing, cleaning circuit boards in the electronic industry, etc. Big and small spills of these chemicals are widespread. The chlorinated solvents are toxic (e.g., some are carcinogenic) and therefore present real problems when they contaminate groundwater used for drinking purposes. Besides chlorinated solvents, there are other major categories of contaminants: gasoline and other fuels; metals like chromate, etc.
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