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Total launches carbon capture facility

Published: Jan. 11, 2010 at 11:29 AM

LACQ, France, Jan. 11 (UPI) — French supermajor Total inaugurated a carbon capture facility in the south of France that could remove more than 120,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions


Total hailed its $85.6 million end-to-end carbon capture, transportation and storage demonstration facility in Lacq as Europe’s first such project.

The French supermajor said intergovernmental studies showed that carbon capture and storage could remove roughly 30 percent of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. More than 7,000 industrial facilities could benefit from the technology by 2050, the company added.

The Lacq demonstration facility uses a system that employs pure oxygen for its industrial boiler in order to produce smaller amounts of carbon-rich flue gas. Remaining carbon is ferried through a pipeline and injected into a depleted underground natural gas reservoir.

Total said the facility could remove more than 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within two years, which is equal to removing 40,000 cars from European roads during the same time period.

The Lacq facility contributes to Total’s green-energy portfolio and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuel oil, natural gas and other heavy industries, the supermajor noted.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.



Toxic fumes – testing equipment and processes

Air quality testing and information gathering science

Testing processes in use now

(From a note on 09-14-09)

Check for story about new equipment that tests for toxic fumes – UPI? Reuters? CNN?

Status of EMP research now


Second skin stuff

Put together equipment to locate IED’s from a distance – isn’t the sand around them hot and the IED’s cold until ignited? Sonic or infrared to see them?

(from the same 09-16-09 notes)

(Also – from today)

Hand swabs for explosive chemicals are being used now in Atlantic City airport security and others – how are they testing for that? How do the swabs get tested quickly on the ground (in field)?


Aberdeen Test Center Facilities / Capabilities Guide

Toxic Fumes and Field Testing (Chemistry)

  • State-of-the-art instrumentation analyzes gases produced during weapons and ammunition testing, mobile and stationary vehicle tests, and during the assessment of tents, shelters, and other field equipment in real time.
  • Measurements are taken with portable analyzers for vehicle testing, mobile instrumentation vans for remote site testing, and a bombproof for ballistics tests
  • A list of the gases analyzed and particulate collectors used is as follows:
Carbon monoxide Carbon dioxide Sulfur dioxide
Nitric oxide Nitrogen dioxide Hydrocarbons
Ammonia Oxygen depletion Explosive gases (LEL)
Hydrogen Particulate impactors Chlorine
Cyclone and Particulate Traps
  • Reactive gases can be detected during toxic gas analysis using a field Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR)

Warfighter Directorate, 410-278-4277, email atcwd@atc.army.mil

Facilities/Capabilities Guide



Decades later, U.S. military pollution in Philippines linked to deaths

By Travis J. Tritten, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Travis J. Tritten / S&S

Nov. 8, 2009 Residents fish at the mouth of the Santa Rita river, where the U.S. Navy dumped its untreated sewage until it left Subic Bay in 1991. A landfill used by the Navy still sits along the river.

Travis J. Tritten / S&S

Nov. 7, 2009 These members of the Fastulan village tribe worked as subcontractors for the U.S. Navy sorting waste such as paints, chemicals and asbestos materials by hand until 1991. Villagers, who do not keep birth or death records, made a list of 42 former workers who they believed died of complications from exsposure to military toxic waste, some dating back to the 1970s.

Watch video

CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines – The U. S. military is long gone from bases in the Philippines, but its legacy remains buried here.

Toxic waste was spilled on the ground, pumped into waterways and buried in landfills for decades at two sprawling Cold War-era bases.

Today, ice cream shops, Western-style horse ranches, hotels and public parks have sprung up on land once used by the Air Force and the Navy — a benign facade built on land the Philippine government said is still polluted with asbestos, heavy metals and fuel.

Records of about 500 families who sought refuge on the deserted bases after a 1991 volcanic eruption indicate 76 people died and 68 others were sickened by pollutants on the bases. A study in 2000 for the Philippine Senate also linked the toxins to “unusually high occurrence of skin disease, miscarriages, still births, birth defects, cancers, heart ailments and leukemia.”

The 1991 base closing agreement gave the Philippines billions of dollars in military infrastructure and real estate at the bases and in return cleared the United States of any responsibility for the pollution. The Department of Defense told Stars and Stripes it has no authority to undertake or pay for environmental cleanup at the closed bases.

Philippine government efforts never gained traction. Philippine President Joseph Estrada formed a task force in 2000 to take on the issue, but it fell dormant and unfunded after he left office a year later. Efforts by private groups and environmentalists to force a cleanup have largely fizzled.

After two decades, the base closing agreement has run up a troubling environmental record. Filipinos claim exposure to U.S. pollutants has brought suffering and death.

As the U.S. military works to become greener in the 21st century, the Philippines stand as a dark reminder of how environmental responsibilities can go astray overseas.

Both the Air Force and the Navy polluted haphazardly in the Philippines.

The Navy pumped 3.75 million gallons of untreated sewage each day into local fishing and swimming waters at Subic Bay, according to a 1992 report by what was then known as the General Accounting Office.

The bases poured fuel and chemicals from firefighting exercises directly into the water table and used underground storage tanks without leak detection equipment, the agency found.

At least three sites at the Subic Bay Navy base — two landfills and an ordnance disposal area — are dangerously polluted with materials such as asbestos, metals and fuels, the Philippines government found after an environmental survey there.

Clark Air Base was a staging area during the Vietnam War. Its aviation and vehicle operations contaminated eight sites with oil, petroleum lubricants, pesticides, PCB and lead, according to a 1997 environmental survey by the Philippine government.

Before the U.S. closed the bases, it drew up a rough bill for cleaning the hazardous pollution.

Though they never tested the water or soil, the Air Force and the Navy estimated cleanup at each could cost up to $25 million — the average cost of handling the most polluted sites back in the United States, according to the GAO.

Rose Ann Calma is believed to be one of the warning signs of pollution at Clark Air Base.

Now 13 years old, she weighs just 32 pounds and must wear diapers. Cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation have stolen her ability to speak or walk.

Her mother and about 500 other families who were displaced by a volcanic eruption in 1991 moved onto the base and set up a tent village.

They drilled shallow wells on a former motor pool site and drank the untreated water — despite an oily sheen — until they were moved off the land in the late 1990s.

Records of the families, published by the Philippines Senate, said 144 people were sickened at the camp, 76 of whom died.

It said at least 19 children were born with disabilities, diseases and deformities between 1996 and 1999.

Tests in 1995 by the Philippine Department of Health confirmed wells on Clark were contaminated with oil and grease, a byproduct of decades of military use.

“If it is God’s will, then I accept it,” Rose Ann’s mother, Susan Calma, said recently.

In a village near Subic Bay, Norma Abraham, 58, holds an X-ray showing the lung disease that killed her husband, Guillermo.

Her husband worked through the 1980s and early 1990s sorting the Navy waste that went into local landfills, which are the most polluted sites at Subic Bay.

Many aborigines like Abraham, who are among the poorest in a poor country, were paid about 30 cents per day to hand-sort recyclable metals from Navy waste that included asbestos, paint and batteries, villagers told Stars and Stripes.

No protective equipment other than gloves was ever used, and asbestos dust was often thick in the air, the villagers said. Sometimes, when a truck dumped new waste for sorting, they said the workers would faint from the toxic fumes.

Guillermo Abraham began to cough, feel tightness in his lungs and have trouble breathing while working there, his wife said.

The lung ailment plagued him through his life and after an X-ray in January showed he was terminally ill with lung disease, he died on May 29, Norma Abraham said.

His disease, which mirrors asbestosis, is the most common ailment and killer among the 70 or so families who worked with the Navy’s waste, according to the villagers.

The aborigines rarely get quality medical treatment and do not keep birth or death records. But they compiled a list for Stars and Stripes of 41 people who they believe died over the years from toxic exposure.

Any real chance for an environmental cleanup was scuttled by the two governments in the agreement that gave the Philippines billions of dollars in base infrastructure and real estate in return for absolving the United States of any responsibility for the pollution.

As a result, the United States has no legal responsibility or authority to conduct a cleanup, and an influential Philippines politician said that government has little interest in the problem.

“It is not one of its priorities,” said Philippine Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a former majority leader and Senate president. “If it was, it would have been done a long time ago.”

Dolly Yanan keeps the records and photos of the gray-faced, emaciated and disabled children believed to have been poisoned by U.S. military pollution in the Subic Bay area.

The records count 38 deaths from disease between 2000 and 2003.

But the record-keeping has begun to lapse in recent years as hope for a cleanup and enthusiasm for the cause recedes.

“For the past four or five years, we cannot track the leukemia,” said Yanan, who runs a community center in Olongapo City.

A coalition of citizens known as the People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup has fought for U.S. accountability for two decades and met with a string of disappointments.

The Philippine Senate inquiry and task force in 2000 led to no action, and a lawsuit designed to force a U.S.-led environmental assessment survey, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, was thrown out in 2003.

“If only our government was strong enough, I think there would have been a cleanup or at least an initial assessment,” Yanan said. “First, it should be our government who should have a strong will and call for a cleanup.”


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The Associated Press February 17, 2010, 11:42AM ET text size: TT

Toxic fumes leak in Philippine port kills 3

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MANILA, Philippines

A chemical leak on a barge undergoing repairs killed three workers and prompted authorities to close schools and move to safety nearly 2,000 residents at a northern Philippine port, officials said Wednesday.

The three men suffocated Tuesday while repainting and fixing the docked barge in Batangas port south of Manila, said regional police director Rolando Anonuevo.

Three other workers were hospitalized while authorities temporarily moved about 2,000 people living nearby to a local school.

The gas was probably sodium hydrosulfide, a toxic chemical used in the production of paper and dyes and to process ores, said Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon.

Mayor Ryan Dolor declared an emergency in the town, sealed off a 1.6-mile (1 kilometer) radius around the wharf and suspended classes. Police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and Red Cross personnel were on the scene as officials investigated the leak, he said.

Police summoned the owner of the barge for questioning.



Trackman’s estate sues BNSF over toxic fumes
2/18/2010 10:00 AM By Kelly Holleran

The executrix of a deceased man’s estate has filed suit against his former employer, saying he developed respiratory and cardiovascular problems after being exposed to toxic fumes while working.

Maria Seijas claims the recently deceased Roberto Seijas worked as a trackman and machine operator for BNSF Railway Company from 1971 until 2008.

During the time of his employment, Roberto Seijas was exposed to numerous airborne pollutants, chemicals, toxins, ballast dust and diesel fumes, which led him to experience a heart attack on May 15, 2008, according to the complaint filed Feb. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Before his death, Roberto Seijas sustained severe and permanent injuries to his respiratory and cardiovascular systems, lungs, heart and body, which caused him to suffer great pain and mental anguish, the suit states. In addition, he lost money, experienced an extinguished earning capacity and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Maria Seijas blames BNSF for causing Roberto Seijas’ death, saying the company was guilty of a number of negligent acts, including its failure to provide safe tools, proper equipment and adequate supervision; its failure to warn him of hazardous conditions; its allowance of unsafe business practices to become common; and its assigning work to Roberto Seijas that it knew would cause him injury.

In her complaint, Maria Seijas seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Gregory M. Tobin of Pratt and Tobin in East Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-160.



Pan-frying meat over gas hob ups cancer risk

by Kangna Agarwal – February 18, 2010

Frying meat on a gas hob may elevate the risk of developing cancer, warns a novel research.

The study claims that frying meat on a gas hob may be worse than frying it on an electric ring. Professional chefs and cooks may be particularly at risk, it cautioned.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently declared that frying on high-temperature may be ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’

Details of the study
To come up with this finding, a research team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology replicated the conditions of a typical Western European restaurant kitchen.

For the study, 17 beefsteaks, weighing 400 g each, were fried both on a gas or an electric hob consecutively for 15 minutes, using margarine or soya bean oil.

Then the team measured the amount of toxic particles given off in the ‘breathing zone’ of the chefs.

Outcome of the study
It was found that meat cooked on a gas hob produced more toxic fumes or the harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compared to food cooked on the electric hob.

Margarine oil was shown to produce the highest level of toxic fumes. The researchers also found napthalene, a chemical contained in mothballs, in 16 of the 17 samples.

The cooks were also shown to report an increased risk of respiratory tract cancer due to the presence of PAHs in their breathing zones.

Findings of the study caution that cooking fumes, as well as other tiny particles given off while frying cause DNA changes which may trigger cancer risk, or cause lung cancer.

However, what causes such toxic content–type of fat or food–still remains uncertain.

Word of caution
The researchers recommended that in order to avoid the consequences, people should keep their kitchens as ventilated as they can, and also make sure that their gas appliances are well maintained.

They concluded, “The measured levels of total particles and PAHs for the cooks in our study are far below the Norwegian occupational exposure limits for nuisance dust.

“However, cooking fumes consist of a mixture of toxic and mutagenic compounds, including mutagenic aldehydes and heterocyclic amines with no known dose-response relationship, so exposure to cooking fumes should be reduced as much as possible.”

Health expert Dr Deborah Jarvis of Imperial College London said, “People should keep their kitchens well ventilated when cooking.”

The study appears in the Journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.



Pan-frying meat over gas hob ups cancer risk

TheMedGuru – ‎Feb 18, 2010‎

It was found that meat cooked on a gas hob produced more toxic fumes or the harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compared to food cooked on the

Frying meat on gas hob less healthy than cooking with electricity Mirror.co.uk

Frying steak on gas hob ‘may increase risk of cancer’ Telegraph.co.uk

The ‘cancer risk’ of frying steak on a gas hob Daily Mail


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MSN Health & Fitness

Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk

BusinessWeek – Amanda Gardner – ‎20 hours ago‎

Researchers in Norway have found that cooking with gas produces more potentially harmful fumes than electric cooking. But, in a report published online Feb.

Scientists warn that cooking with electric stove better for your health than … Daily Telegraph

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(from google search for “toxic fumes” on the news search function)


Poison death rate is high

Health » Utahns die of poisoning at twice the national rate, according to experts.

By Mike Stark

The Associated Press

Updated: 02/15/2010 10:03:27 AM MST


Whether it’s an overdose of pain medications or being overcome by toxic fumes, Utah residents die at twice the national rate of poisonings, according to new state figures.

The Utah Department of Health reports 21.3 deaths from poisoning each year per 100,000 residents. The national average is 11 per 100,000 people, the department said.

Many of Utah’s poison deaths go relatively unnoticed, but the state has had several high-profile cases in recent weeks.

Those include the deaths of 4-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister, Rachel, last week. Investigators believe they died after fumes from rodent poison pellets placed in their yard seeped into their house.

Last month, 30-year-old Mauricio Lacayo, of Saratoga Springs, died after reporting he had been exposed to a hazardous substance at his job.

The most common exposures reported at the Utah Poison Control Center are analgesics, household cleaning products and cosmetics and personal care products.

For the first time, pesticides also are on the center’s top 10 list.

“They’ve crept up. Now they’re No. 7,” said Marty Malheiro, an outreach coordinator at the poison center, which fielded more than 56,000 calls last year.

Overall, the Salt Lake County area has the highest rates of poisoning deaths in the state. Summit County had the lowest.

Those between the ages of 45 and 54 were the most likely to die of poisoning, according to state


They said poisoning deaths among children have dropped in recent years, mostly because of safer packaging and poison control hot lines.

Many poisoning deaths in Utah are linked to prescription drug overdoses, thought it’s often difficult to tell whether the overdoses were intentional, according to health officials.

Between 1999 and 2007, the number of deaths attributed to prescription pain medications rose more than 500 percent, according to the health department.

“There are a lot of people working on this issue to figure out why,” said Jenny Johnson, who works with the state’s violence and injury-prevention program, which released the latest figures.

In recent years, much focus has been on the state’s steady increase in drug deaths, which make up the largest single category of cases — roughly 20 to 25 percent — at the state medical examiner’s office.

Fatal overdoses from prescription drugs happen at nearly three times the rate of those from illicit drugs, according to Todd Grey, the state’s chief medical examiner.

There are likely several factors at work, health officials said, such as an increase in the number of prescriptions, including narcotics. While new and better medicines provide benefits to many patients, there is an increased risk of those same drugs being abused, said Robert Rolfs, the state epidemiologist.

The latest U.S. Health and Human Services survey ranked Utah fourth in the nation for non-medical use of pain relievers.

Other reasons for the ranking include misuse of medications and abuse by those stealing them from medicine cabinets.

State officials say they’ve also seen more drug deaths in which it’s unclear whether people intended to kill themselves.

Utah lawmakers this year are considering several bills to address the problem, including one that would notify doctors of a patient’s DUI conviction if it was caused by prescription medication and another requiring any physician licensed to prescribe medicine to register with a controlled-substance database and learn how to use it.

Health officials have also launched public awareness campaigns about prescription drug use.

“It’s a solvable problem but it’s complex,” Rolfs said.

Salt Lake Tribune staff contributed to this report.



Saturday, 20th February 2010

(from THE STAR – serving South Yorkshire, UK)

Gas deaths recall alert

Published Date: 20 February 2010

By Russ Newton

THE deaths of a Doncaster couple from carbon monoxide poisoning has prompted a nationwide safety recall for thousands of potentially dangerous gas cookers.

Boris and Vilma Green, aged 78 and 80, were among six people across the UK who died because they used a grill oven with the door closed, causing it to give off toxic fumes which overcame them as they sat in their armchairs watching TV.

One of their sons found them when he entered their house in Acacia Road, Cantley, after being unable to get a response by phone. Their pet poodle was also killed by the carbon monoxide.

At an inquest it emerged the £300 Leisure Alta cooker – less than three years old – had a defective oven so the couple used the grill as an oven to cook some meat.

But they appear not to have read the instruction manual which stated the grill door should be left open when it was turned on to provide a supply of air for safe combustion.

When experts investigated they found the Greens’ gas boiler and gas fire were working properly but tests on the grill oven produced dangerous levels of CO within minutes.

Their son, Malcolm, said after the inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death: “You can’t prepare for that sort of thing. When you hear about carbon monoxide poisoning you think it’s from boilers or fires, nobody thinks about cookers.

“I think this shows grill ovens should be fitted with a safety device to switch it off if the door is closed, just like when you close the lids on hobs.

“I don’t suppose my parents read the instructions because everyone thinks they know how to use a cooker. If I’d known they had something wrong with the main oven we would have had it sorted.”

The inquest was told the other deaths in Kent, Ulster and Ireland involved New World, Leisure, Belling and Flavel cookers, which are all manufactured in Turkey by the Beko firm.

Their British operations director, Andrew Mullen, gave a statement that 25,835 cookers had been sold in the British Isles and there had been an extensive campaign to make safety changes by removing part of the grill door seal.

Although 21,752 customers had been traced only 10,500 had responded to have them modified.

Doncaster Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis said it was a distressing case “particularly when an elderly couple seek to cook their main meal of the day and never survived to see the end product because of a development they were unaware of”.

He pointed out a small sticker on the cooker might have alerted users to the potential danger.

He added: “Once this oven door had been closed it did develop carbon monoxide fumes in the property at a considerable rate.

“Had there been a CO detector in the house then it would be possible that it would have been heard by the Greens and they would have realised something was amiss and taken appropriate action.”

Mr Curtis said the cookers had been certified as safe before going on sale but those safety standards were not sufficient and were now being addressed across Europe.

He said he was gratified that Beko had acted quickly.

He also urged gas cooker users to have their appliance checked out, not to buy second-hand ones, and make sure they were fitted by qualified people, as well as fitting a CO detector



Veterans speak out against burn pits

A range of health problems are linked to the pits on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Toxic substances have been found in the smoke.

A military environmental agency that tested air samples from Balad in 2007 found dioxins, metals, volatile organic compounds and other toxic substances in the smoke. (U.S. Air Force)

By David Zucchino

February 18, 2010

The noxious smoke plumes that wafted over the military base in Balad, Iraq, alarmed Lt. Col. Michelle Franco. The stench from a huge burn pit clung to her clothing, skin and hair.

“I remember thinking: This doesn’t look good, smell good or taste good,” Franco said recently. “I knew it couldn’t be good for anybody.”

She wheezed and coughed constantly. When Franco returned to the U.S., she was diagnosed with reactive airway dysfunction syndrome. She is no longer able to serve as an Air Force nurse.

Other returning veterans have reported leukemia, lymphoma, congestive heart problems, neurological conditions, bronchitis, skin rashes and sleep disorders — all of which they attribute to burn pits on dozens of U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The military needs to step up and address this problem,” said John Wilson of the advocacy group Disabled American Veterans, which maintains a registry of more than 500 veterans with disorders they blame on burn pits. The fumes emanating from the pits, he warned, could become the Agent Orange of the current war zone.

Items burned in the pits have included medical waste, plastics, computer parts, oil, lubricants, paint, tires and foam cups, according to soldiers and contractors. Some say amputated body parts from Iraqi patients were burned in Balad, site of a large U.S. military hospital.

A military environmental agency that tested air samples from Balad in 2007 found dioxins, metals, volatile organic compounds and other toxic substances in the smoke. But in its report — titled “Just the Facts” — the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine said the substances “were within acceptable standards.” It also blamed particulate matter found at levels above military exposure guidelines on the blowing sand and dust that is common at bases across the region.

“Although no chemical concerns or significant health risks have been identified, smoke from any source, including burning trash, can still cause temporary irritation effects,” the report said.

Last year, the center recommended moving burn pits downwind from areas where service members live and work, and minimizing the burning of plastics and cooking grease.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a military spokesman, the burning of medical waste, fuels, oils, lubricants, tires, most metals, electronics, batteries and other hazardous items is prohibited. More environmental sampling and independent reviews are planned “to ensure . . . an improved understanding of burn-pit smoke and any resulting health risks,” Speaks said.

Still, Army Master Sgt. Tex C.G. Hughes said batteries, computer parts and other banned materials were burned regularly at the main U.S. military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He said the fumes wafted over a nearby training camp, where he and other soldiers suffered from burning eyes, coughing and wheezing.

“You could taste the smoke all night long,” said Hughes, a 61-year-old intelligence specialist. He attributes his sleep apnea to smoke exposure.

The Pentagon operates at least 84 burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Rep. Timothy H. Bishop (D-N.Y.), who cosponsored legislation last fall that prohibited burning hazardous and medical waste unless the military showed it had no alternative. The law also requires the Defense Department to justify burn pits, develop alternatives and improve medical monitoring.

Two pits at Balad were shut down in October and replaced by four closed incinerators with pollution controls. The military has installed 27 incinerators in Iraq and Afghanistan and has ordered 82 more, Bishop said.

While the Pentagon says the pits do not cause serious long-term health problems, some health experts disagree.

Dr. Anthony Szema, chief of the allergy section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, N.Y., said exposure to smoke and fumes from burning refuse can increase the risk of death from lung cancer or cardiovascular disease. Szema told a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing in November that burning plastic bottles produces dioxin and hydrochloric acid, and burning polystyrene foam cups produces dioxin, benzene and other carcinogens.

“In summary, you should not burn trash or inhale burning trash,” Szema said.

And retired Lt. Col. Darrin L. Curtis — a bioenvironmental engineer who served at Balad in 2006 and 2007 — told the committee that “burn pits may be responsible for long-term health problems in many individuals who were exposed to the smoke plumes.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Francis Jaeger, a communications specialist, said he was regularly ordered to haul refuse to a pit at a U.S. base in Tall Afar, Iraq, where it was burned by contractors.

“We were told to burn everything — electronics, bloody gauze, the medics’ biohazard bags, surgical gloves, cardboard. It all went up in smoke,” said Francis, 46, who attributes his asthma, joint pain, muscle spasms and fatigue to exposure.

Russell Keith, a paramedic working at Balad, said he could tell when the wind had blown dark green plumes from burn pits toward base living areas. He said long lines formed for sick call, with troops coughing up blood, vomiting and complaining of nausea or burning lungs.

Keith said that medical waste, including syringes and expired drugs, was burned in the pits, and that jet fuel was sometimes used as an accelerant. Keith, 50, said he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he blames on toxic smoke.

In January, Bishop and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) introduced the Military Personnel Toxic Exposure Registry Act, which would require the Pentagon to create a database of the tens of thousands of troops exposed to burn pits. The bill also would ban burning plastics, require annual reports to Congress on sicknesses, and ensure that veterans affected by the smoke received full service-related health benefits, Bishop said.

More than 280 veterans and contract workers have sued defense contractor KBR Inc., alleging that burn pits it operated on U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan caused cancers, respiratory problems and 13 wrongful deaths, said Susan Burke, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 John A. Wester, 59, a Special Forces soldier, blames his Hodgkin’s disease on exposure to a burn pit at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

“The military wants to deny anything’s wrong, just like with Agent Orange,” Wester said. “But there’s no doubt in my military mind where I got my cancer.”

david.zucchino@ latimes.com


While serving for Operation Enduring Freedom at a base that was not exactly secret but not exactly publicized, we were told to burn anything and everything that had any English on it. We used 55-gallon drums, and burned 24 hours a day. All food wrappers, papers, trash, batteries, etc. The smell was incredible. Every so often, another unit came to burn cassette tapes, and then you couldn’t even be in the area because you just couldn’t breathe. HOWEVER, the worst airborne contamination we faced was the mystery powder that they sprayed from trucks to kill mosquitos. It was bright yellow and killed any insect it touched. It had this bizarre smell and made your eyes itch. Against regulation, I used my gas mask every time the truck came by. There were a few Army guys that were stationed in a tower about 10 feet from the road where the truck would drive by that had no masks or any other way to not breathe whatever this powder was, and they told me that their hands would go so numb that they couldn’t make a fist after breathing this stuff. However, the base commanders refused to tell us what was in the insecticide. Our military only cares about the troops so much, then we are thrown to the wolves. Also, we dumped our raw sewage from the porta-johns on open ground a few miles off base…and we wonder why they hate us over there!

Bay_Area_Vacationer (02/18/2010, 4:49 PM )

Another example of why we shouldn’t be in Iraq. We have no respect for other people and cultures.

ma8rty (02/18/2010, 8:59 AM )

What about all the material burned or buried on domestic military bases? Check out the marine corps logistics bases, east coast and west coast, they routinely dispose of old materials. What about camp lejeune north carolina?

Blackbeard420 (02/18/2010, 6:40 AM )

On both of my tours in Iraq, there were burn pits operated by KBR in the vicinity of our compound. They burned all garbage such as tires, batteries, plastics, etc. Everything was burnt. The burn pit had a toxic smell that was impossible to get rid of. Our battalion commander complained about the burn pit because it was endangering the health of his Marines. Because of his complaints, the EPA came out to sample the air quality. On the day the EPA arrived, KBR had shut down the burn pit. Air quality was acceptable, case closed. I have had breathing problems ever since.

bkmoore773 (02/18/2010, 2:10 AM )

Ya Duh. Most communities in the US banned burning trash decades ago. And EricBeck this is no surprise to me. I was in the Army during the VietNam debacle. The Captain had a sign above his door “Death to all who enter” Not “Death to the Enemy” Or Death to Evildoers” (oops Bush wasn’t famous then) but Death to all who enter. Well who enters? The Captains subordinates that’s who. Disrespect for underlings is a hallmark of authoritarian hierarchical institutions.

wydeeyed (02/17/2010, 7:34 PM )

If you want to do something other than the burn pits, dont complain about the cost of war when they have to build insinerators to burn trash!

HannInc (02/17/2010, 6:39 PM )

Let’s be more precise here. Are these really “Pentagon” burn pits, or are these Pentagon-outsourced burn pits run by the likes of KBR-Halliburton? KBR-Halliburton rountinely burns “surplus” equipment because it is on a cost-plus accounting contract. It gets reimbursed for expenditures plus a guaranteed percentage above that. In one case documented by Robert Greenwald, KBR bought the wrong computer equipment and rather than return it, they burned it. Not only a waste of money, but extremely toxic. Unfortunately, I have come to expect this from the new and increasingly privatized Pentagon. It makes me sick everytime I hear some pro-business type politician boast how s/he “supports the troops.” What, as a profit center?

citizengkar38 (02/17/2010, 6:23 PM )

Despite living in an area and participating in activities (Little League, Cub Scouts) in which unthinking patriotism is cultivated, my nine-year-old son is decidedly anti-war and expresses no interest in joining the military when he is grown. I will do everything I can to sustain that thinking. Why should anyone be surprised the military would expose its enlistees to high levels of toxic pollution, when the same military so cavalierly wastes the lives of enlistees in wars that are not at all, or only barely, in the legitimate national interest? For that matter, why are the soldiers themselves surprised at this?

LouBr (02/17/2010, 5:09 PM )

Hello! This sort of incineration is well known to cause all of the health effects listed in the article. Any scientist or doctor will tell you that! This sort of incineration is banned or very closely regulated in most states. What a tragedy.

gandalf69 (02/17/2010, 5:04 PM )

Where are these weapons of mass destruction you speak of??

“Ummmm, they’re uhhhhh… In the burn pit! Yeaaahhh, that’s where they are. In the fire. We found them and we burned them because uhhh…”

SoCalJess (02/17/2010, 2:45 PM )

Oh gee, what a surprise! The military, that loves to advertise their love of and loyalty to their ranks, engages in practices that show nothing short of hostility towards the men and women that wear the uniform. From Agent Orange to Walter Reed to this, the military treats their enlisted ranks like disposable toys.

EricBeck4501 (02/17/2010, 2:36 PM )

Inhaling smoke from burning medical waste, plastics, computer parts, oil, lubricants, paint, tires and foam cups cannot be good. We need to give these soldiers more adequate living conditions and more respect.

dankpancake (02/17/2010, 2:33 PM )



VerdictSearch: BP Must Cough Up $100 Million in Toxic Fumes Suit, Jury Says


February 10, 2010


On Dec. 18, 2009, a jury awarded more than $100 million to 10 workers who accused BP North America Inc. of releasing toxic chemicals into the air at its refinery in Texas City.

The workers were among dozens who were treated for sore throats and dizziness related to chemical exposure in March and April 2009. The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the plant had a poor safety record, citing a 2005 explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170, and they contended BP had failed to take adequate steps to remedy the problems.

BP denied releasing any hazardous substances into the plant, but the jury disagreed. It found the energy giant negligent and awarded each plaintiff $10 million in punitive damages, plus between $5,000 and $244,000 apiece for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Garner, et al. v. BP Products North America Inc., No. 3:07-cv-00221

Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Anthony G. Buzbee, Sean E. O’Rourke and Peter K. Taaffe, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Defense Attorney: James B. Galbraith, McLeod, Alexander, Powell & Apffel, Galveston

The information above is reported and written by VerdictSearch Texas. Additional verdicts can be found in VerdictSearch Texas or at VerdictSearch.com, affiliates of Texas Lawyer.



Legislation would ban smoking on beach

Press of Atlantic City – Juliet Fletcher – ‎Feb 19, 2010‎

lock yourself in … but stay in your hole, don’t you dare come out and poison me on MY property when the wind drifts your toxic fumes towards my face.

(google search result)


(from handwritten notes – 09-16-09)

Water pollution – manufacturers dumping story – UPI & Times


Simi Valley sodium nuclear reactor facility remnants, cleanup and leftover radioactive washoff – there is going to be a state park for walking, hiking, and picnics on top of the polluted site without the appropriate full cleanup required – state of California


Probers unearth toxin shock in Greenpoint groundwater

BY Erin Durkin

Thursday, February 18th 2010, 4:00 AM

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/02/18/2010-02-18_probers_unearth_toxin_shock_in_greenpoint_groundwater.html#ixzz0g6ZztjqW

There’s something in the water.

Investigators probing a toxic underground chemical plume in Greenpoint have discovered groundwater with levels of a cancer-causing cleaning solvent more than 14 million times the state standard.

“We got hit in the face with it before we got our gear on,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation project manager David Harrington, adding that water contaminated with PCE splashed out while his crew was doing repair work.

“It smelled like White-Out times a thousand with a lot of sugar thrown in for a couple seconds until my nasal lining burned out,” he said. “That’s pure product.”

The contamination hot spot at the corner of Norman and Kingsland Aves. was the site of the now-shuttered Spic and Span drycleaners, one of five businesses accused of dumping the solvents PCE and TCE.

A study released by the National Academy of Sciences last week found that PCE can cause cancer. It also has been linked to birth defects and infertility.

The groundwater was 73% PCE – more than 14 million times the state standard of 5 parts per billion.

“Those numbers are off the charts,” said Center for Health and Environmental Justice coordinator Mike Schade, who lives on Sutton St. on top of the plume. “It’s going to be extremely difficult … to clean it up.”

While residents aren’t directly exposed to the groundwater, the chemicals can leach into people’s homes.

Investigators have tested 75 homes, and found that 11 had unsafe levels of the chemicals. They offered the homeowners special ventilation systems to keep the chemicals out.

But critics charge other residents may still be breathing the toxic fumes because state standards for safe PCE levels are too high.

“You could be under [state standards] and still be unsafe. There’s no doubt in my mind,” said HabitatMap.org executive director Michael Heimbinder, who did an analysis and found four more homes that would have qualified for the ventilation systems with tougher standards.

A state Health Department spokeswoman said the guideline is being reviewed but was based on the best available scientific data.

The state has been investigating the contamination – known as the Meeker Plume – since 2007, and pledged to clean it up under the state Superfund program – though the cleanup could take years.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/02/18/2010-02-18_probers_unearth_toxin_shock_in_greenpoint_groundwater.html#ixzz0g6aPfU5z




911 tapes show confusion over plant release

Saturday, February 20, 2010

(From Houston, TX tv station – includes video news segment)

PASADENA, TX (KTRK) — Scary 911 tapes reveal the confusion in the minutes after a toxic cloud of chemicals is released into the air over Pasadena.

Related Content

More: Hear the full emergency dispatch call

Story: Many questions remain after Tuesday’s plant release

Story: New details about ‘orange cloud’ over Pasadena

More: Got a story idea? Let us know!

“I need a yes or no right now! Is there going to be a shelter in place? I have been dealing with this for about 40 minutes,” a voice was heard saying on emergency dispatch recording this past Tuesday.

We have exclusive new details about the release that sent an orange cloud of nitric oxide pouring out of a plant. The misinformation and confusion lasted for nearly an hour, all at a time when minutes count. The plant’s manager told Eyewitness News earlier this week that he did everything right.

Pasadena 911 started getting calls from drivers on Highway 225 complaining about an orange cloud about 4:25pm Tuesday. Over the next 42 minutes, a frustrated 911 operator made 6 calls to the company and the CAER line before Air Products admitted a shelter-in-place was needed.

What the 911 tapes reveal will explain the confusion, but may not make you feel any better about how the system works.

Tuesday afternoon, we could see what was happening and how far that toxic orange cloud was spreading. But Pasadena 911 operators desperate for information couldn’t get any.

“You’ve reached the desk of…” said what sounded like a voicemail greetingl.

“I haven’t heard anything about it,” said another voice.

The CAER line, which the company says it called, knew nothing.

“To reach emergency control in an actual emergency, please press 2,” an automated voice said.

The Air Products emergency control center was useless.

“Are you all having some sort of leak?” asked the dispatcher.

“No,” responded the Air Products employee.

At 4:47pm, 22 minutes after Pasadena 911 operators first tried to get information from the company, the plant manager calls 911 operators back.

“Hello, this is Jacques Joseph with Air Products,” said the manager.

“Why did I never receive a call?” asked the dispatcher.

“Let me see something. You should’ve received a call,” said Joseph.

“I didn’t receive any calls.”

With orange fumes spreading across 225 and reports of drivers having difficulty breathing, the company didn’t ask for a shelter-in-place then.

“Let me have someone call you immediately and give you the information you need,” said Joseph.

Someone calls back seven minutes later, but still isn’t much help.

“This is Bill Mackie over at Air Products and Chemicals on Pasadena 225, 14…oh, I forgot my address.”

While this employee admits it’s a danger to public, he also claims they’re managing the leak, but can’t provide needed answers.

“Do we need to have a shelter in place or not?” said the 911 operator.

“Let me find out first,” said the Air Products representative.

It’s now been 30 minutes since 911 first called the plant. A truck driver is pulled over and having trouble breathing. The orange cloud is visible for miles, but the plant still won’t admit there’s a problem.

Forty-two minutes after the first call, the plant manager finally admits a shelter-in-place is needed, a crucial decision the emergency system relies on to protect neighbors.

“So there’s going to be a shelter in place?” a voice asked. “Well, I’m trying to see,” said the manager.

“I need a yes or no right now. Is it going to be a shelter-in-place,’ said the dispatcher. “I’ve been dealing with this for about 40 minutes and I am looking up in my book that there could be respiration problems and possible death. That’s not OK. The fact that you all reported this so late?”

“We, we…go ahead,” said the manager.

Remember Jacques Joseph is the guy who told us Wednesday that he followed all proper protocols, the man his company stood behind, the man who tapes reveal was late to ask for a shelter-in-place, and who tried to get it lifted before police thought it safe.

Here, Joseph on the final 911 call released.

“I would also recommend you can lift the shelter-in-place,” said Joseph.

“We can lift the shelter-in-place? But we can still actually visibly see a cloud right now,” said the dispatcher.

“Well, if you were here with me, for specifically my area, I would wait a little while to do that,” said Joseph.

The company tells us that since they haven’t heard the tapes, they won’t comment on what’s on them. The TCEQ and the EPA are both investigating the apparent problems with notification.

(Copyright ©2010 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


(from comments)

psayles2 2/20/10 12:15 AM EST

This ongoing discussion of the Air Products NOx release is increasingly aggravating. They responded to the incident 100% appropriately. The CAER line was updated immediately and contained all appropriate information regarding the event. Jacques has been continuously attacked since the media got a hold of this. He has done nothing wrong other than harbor the ulterior motives of the media. As soon as the pipeline gasket failed, it was immediately upgraded to level 3 alert and necessary public officials alerted. T…


Diesel fumes prompt evacuation of 350 people in Sears call center; 47 sick

February 10, 2010 (NewYorkInjuryNews.com – Injury News)

New Source: JusticeNewsFlash.com
Legal News for Arizona Personal Injury Attorneys. Diesel fumes result in the evacuation of nearly 350 people in a Sears call center.

Arizona personal injury attorney alerts- toxic fumes send people out of Sears building; rescue crews dispatched to scene.

Tucson, AZ—Diesel fumes are believed to have caused 47 people to feel sick at a Sears call center on Thursday, February 4, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona. Approximately 350 people were evacuated from the building after several employees complained of symptoms including nausea, headaches, and dizziness, according to information provided by KOLD.com.

It was reported that a construction truck was stopped near open doors and exhaust fans, which may explain how diesel fumes seemingly permeated the Sears building. An employee was allegedly the first to feel ill, describing symptoms which are the same as those experienced when suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. A Sears’ spokesperson allegedly stated that though many agree that the diesel fumes from the large construction truck is the likely source in the incident, “nothing is certain.”

Emergency crews from the Rural/Metro Fire Department as well as the Tucson Fire Department responded to the scene to treat those who fell ill due to the alleged toxic fumes. Medical professionals at the scene treated most of the 47 who felt ill in the incident. Rescue teams reportedly took six to area hospitals for further treatment by doctors and nurses. People were allowed back into the building pending the “all clear” signal from fire rescue crews who swept through the call center an alleged three times. Investigations by Sears’ officials are reported underway.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers. News Source: JusticeNewsFlash.com – Press Release Distribution



2,000 return home after toxic scare

The Department of Health allowed some 2,000 residents living in the villages of Santa Maria, San Pedro, Baguilawa and San Miguel in Bauan town to return to their residences after experts declared the affected areas safe from toxic fumes

  • By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 February 18, 2010

Manila: Residents from four villages in Batangas who were evacuated on Tuesday evening were allowed to return to their homes, several hours after local authorities declared an emergency after three workers died from effects of a toxic gas leak.

The Department of Health (DOH) allowed some 2,000 residents living in the villages of Santa Maria, San Pedro, Baguilawa and San Miguel in Bauan town to return to their residences after experts declared the affected areas safe from toxic fumes.

On Tuesday, three workers at a barge repair facility owned by the oil company, Chevron in Santa Maria died after inhaling noxious gases while working.

The workers, whom reports identified as Jhunel Almogera, 40; Charmeil Allego, 23; and a certain Waray, 45, were removing sand from the bottom of the docked barge when they died.



New 911 Photos Dramatically Illustrate Toxic Cloud

WorkersCompensation.com (press release) (blog) – ‎Feb 11, 2010‎

The horrific tragedy of the attack on the World Trade Center on 911 and the toxic cloud of fumes and dust are vividly portrayed in newly released photos.


Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Hartlepool ‘ghost ship’ fire sparks toxic warning

The project to dismantle the ship is one of the largest of its kind in Europe

A fire on a so-called “ghost ship” on Teesside should serve as a warning of a potential toxic incident, environmental campaigners have said.

Up to 50 firefighters battled flames on the former French aircraft carrier Clemenceau near Hartlepool on Friday.

Able UK, which is dismantling the 32,700-tonne ship, said the fire posed no public risk and was not near to any of the asbestos it contains.

The Friends of Hartlepool group say the vessel was a health hazard.

‘Full of toxins’

The Clemenceau, which arrived at the firm’s Graythorp dry dock a year ago, was turned away by India and Egypt for being too toxic to be broken up.

Campaigner Jean Kennedy said the ship was “full of toxins” and that it was a “travesty” that the ship had been allowed to be dismantled at the yard.

The Clemenceau carried helicopters in the first Gulf War

She said: “I have no trust what so ever in this being done properly.

“Even at this stage we have seen the dangers it has brought to this town.

“I am absolutely disgusted because there are schools nearby and the firefighters could have been facing toxic fumes.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade said the fire, which was contained within three compartments, started in cabling.

About 70 people had been working on the ship when the alarm was raised at 0910 GMT but there were no reported injuries.

Fire crews took more than an hour to bring the flames under control.

Neil Etherington, development director of Able UK, said well-rehearsed emergency procedures had worked well.


Launched in December 1957

Decommissioned October 1997

Built at Brest shipyard in France

Length is 255m (836ft)

Weight is 32,780 tonnes

Speed of 32 knots (59 km/h)

Carried total of 40 aircraft

He said: “The situation was dealt with by the fire service in a relatively straightforward and routine manner.

“There were never any dangers to the public and there was no injuries to staff on site.

“There was no hazardous materials involved, no asbestos was anywhere near the fire.”

He said an investigation into the cause was under way. A skeleton staff is to return to work on Saturday and normal shifts are expected to resume on Monday.

The project to dismantle the Clemenceau is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

About 70% of the total asbestos-containing material has so far been removed and the firm expects to complete the operation by April.

The total dismantling of the hull is predicted to be completed by the summer.



Children of those who cleaned up Cantara Loop spill receive checks

By Amanda Winters

Posted February 19,2010 at midnight

Children of the first responders to the Cantara Loop spill of 1991 received a pleasant surprise in the mail this week.

A letter from the Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein law office in San Francisco and a $1,300 check were sent to each of the 767 beneficiaries of a fund that was established as part of a multimillion dollar settlement in the mid-’90s.

On July 14, 1991, a derailed tanker dumped 19,500 gallons of metam sodium, an herbicide, into the Sacramento River about six miles north of Dunsmuir, turning the water a toxic pea green. The herbicide poisoned the river from the loop to Lake Shasta, killing fish, birds, insects and other wildlife.

Three years later, then-Gov. Pete Wilson signed a $38 million settlement paid by Southern Pacific Transportation Co., GATX, AMVAC and J.M. Huber. The money went to clean-up efforts, river-monitoring programs, a game preservation fund, a fund for future environmental disasters and a fund for the children of those who responded first to the toxic scene.

“When the settlement was agreed upon, the judge here in San Francisco who was assigned to the case set aside a certain amount of money for a medical benefits fund that was available for people who believed they had continuing medical issues related to exposure to the fumes that followed the spill,” said Don Arbitblit, a partner at the firm.

The Minors’ Medical Benefits Trust Fund had a total balance of about $1 million and was divided equally among all beneficiaries, the letter read.

“The judge’s order said that money left over after the medical claims had been paid would be distributed to the minors who were alive and in the area and submitted timely claims and that the distribution would take place when those minors were all adults,” Arbitblit said.

Arbitblit said parents of the children filed on their behalf and were given the opportunity to submit paperwork to become part of the settlement.

Some medical claims were made in the 1990s and fully paid at that time, but none has been filed since, he said.

“(That) is why there is a substantial amount for distribution now,” he said.

Record Searchlight reporter Ryan Sabalow was one of the beneficiaries of the Minors’ Medical Benefits Trust Fund.

Sabalow’s father, Mike, worked for Southern Pacific in 1991 as a track maintenance worker. His was among the first crews that responded to the derailment. Both Ryan Sabalow and his sister, Kori, were pleasantly surprised this weekend to find checks in the mail, he said.

“It’s like getting a tax return you didn’t know was coming,” Ryan Sabalow said.

Reporter Amanda Winters can be reached at 225-8372 or at awinters@redding.com.



Toxic fumes spark alert at refuse transfer station

3:56 PM Wednesday Jan 27, 2010

One person was been taken to hospital as a precaution after toxic chemicals were dumped at a refuse and recycling centre in the Auckland suburb of Avondale today.

The concentrated nitric acid began smoking and giving off toxic fumes after it was dumped among rubbish at the EnviroWaste refuse and recycling plant in Patiki Rd.

Firefighters, including the hazardous materials appliance crew, went to the centre to neutralise the acid.

EnviroWaste Services Limited said about 6.15am a commercial waste collector deposited a load of refuse at the plant.

ESL staff noticed what appeared to be smoke emitting from the load.

In accordance with emergency operating procedures, using a wheel loader they removed the pile from the general refuse mass to prevent a fire spreading.

While they were doing that the particular waste pile began to emit fumes which staff identified as being a chemical reaction rather than smoke.




CCID: 27451

Emergency services were immediately called and controlled the emission, closing the site.

The operator of the wheel loader was temporarily exposed to the fumes and was taken to hospital as a precaution. He has since been discharged.

EnviroWaste’s specialist hazardous waste handling division, Chemwaste, was also deployed to remove any contaminants.

No member of the public was involved in the incident and the site was re-opened at around midday.

The company said that people who continued to dispose of potentially hazardous chemicals within their general refuse were acting irresponsibly and illegally, endangering people’s lives.




TCE facts

Some facts about trichloroethylene, or TCE, a colorless, sweet-smelling liquid mainly used for vapor degreasing of metal parts:

* The EPA considers it a “likely human carcinogen.”

* Exposure is associated with several types of cancers in humans, especially in the kidney, liver, cervix and lymphatic system.

* Chronic exposure by inhalation can affect the human central nervous system, causing dizziness, headache, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, facial numbness or weakness.

* Some studies link TCE exposure to increased incidence of miscarriage or congenital heart defects. But since those studies looked at people who also were exposed to other chemicals, it is impossible to identify the cause.

* TCE can migrate from soil into groundwater and can get into drinking water.

Related Topics

ELMIRA HEIGHTS — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to help homeowners near a Superfund site vent potentially cancer-causing fumes from their basements for free.

But the agency needs homeowners’ permission before it can do anything.

That was one of the main messages the EPA was trying to tell the roughly 50 people who attended a meeting Wednesday at Thomas Edison High School.

The EPA began studying an area south of the Facet Enterprises Superfund site in 2007, investigating whether fumes from contaminated groundwater were coming through soil and into homes.

The current testing area runs from Robinwood Avenue to Prescott Avenue, and from West 18th Street to West 12th Street and East 9th Street, all in Elmira Heights.

The EPA took air samples from foundations and from basements of homes in that area.

The next round of testing is scheduled to begin the week of March 23.

How the EPA responds to the test results depends on the chemicals found and their associated risks, said Marian Olsen, senior human health risk assessor for EPA’s regional Superfund division.

Olsen said the EPA compares the levels of chemicals found in homes against what they deem safe for someone to be exposed to almost constantly for 30 years.

Olsen said that while the EPA looks for many kinds of chemicals, the main chemical compound of concern found during testing is trichloroethylene (TCE).

“There are a number of health effects potentially associated with TCE,” Olsen said.

“There is a concern about its potential for carcinogenicity, or to cause cancer, but most of the studies (done elsewhere) … have been at far higher concentrations than what we’re seeing here within the homes,” she said.

“So it’s an increased risk that would be evaluated based on cancer,” she said.

The EPA already has evaluated the risks in 130 area homes and decided to install ventilation systems in 27 of them so far.

Isabel Rodrigues, regional project manager for the EPA, said that if the EPA feels it is necessary to ventilate the gases, it will pay for installation.

“The only thing homeowners (or residents) have to pay is to run the fan, which is a few dollars a month on the electrical bill,” she said

Once a homeowner grants permission for the testing, the EPA tests the foundation of the home by drilling a hole in it and installing a probe, Gary Newhart, an EPA contractor, said at the meeting.

The EPA connects a canister to the probe and collects gas for a day, he said.

Depending on the results, the EPA may decide to test air in the house, he said.

If toxic vapors are found in the air at levels of concern, the EPA will install an electric ventilation system, similar to those used to ventilate radon gas from basements.

Not all property owners allow the tests.

“Sometimes, I just don’t get access (forms) signed by the owners,” Rodrigues said before the presentation. “I also have a lot of people that just don’t give me access. They just deny it.”

Rodrigues said she would consider testing homes just outside the current testing area, but not too far outside.

That area could be extended, based on results found in houses on the outward parts of the area, Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues said Cohen Elementary and Middle schools and Edison High School also will be tested in March.

“We’ve had to become proactive to stay on top of this,” Elmira Heights Mayor Mike Coghlan said at the meeting.

Coghlan said his priority is getting residents to participate in testing.

Donna Savage, 60, who rents a home in the area being tested, was one of the residents who planned to get the EPA to test her home.

“We’re concerned because of the cancer threat,” she said. “There is a man who lived on the first floor for 30-some years and he died of cancer recently.”



Contaminated water spreads to 70 homes, businesses

Poisonous chemicals initially discovered behind the downtown Safeway have moved farther south, though they pose no threat to the city’s drinking water.

By Jodi Rogstad

CHEYENNE — Poisonous chemicals discovered in the groundwater behind a downtown Safeway store are actually part of a narrow, southward-moving, 20-acre plume that ends near the library, the state recently discovered.

As a result, nearly 70 residents and business owners within view of the state’s Capitol were notified last week that levels of perchloroethylene in their groundwater exceed federal standards.

This was found in shallow groundwater and does not affect the city’s drinking water, said Bonnie Pierce of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The worst case scenario is increased cancer risk.

Vapors can travel upward through the soil and enter buildings through their foundations, Pierce said.

These residents and businesses qualify for free indoor air testing and, if needed, a free ventilation system — a small fan and piping — to remove away the toxic fumes.

Pierce said the goal is to significantly reduce the risk of cancer.

The alternative is to remove the chemicals with methods involving barriers and pumping and treating, but these are costly, she said.

Next week the Department of Environmental Quality will host a meeting to present more information, answer questions and collect signed agreements for testing.

The contamination was discovered in 2003 after Safeway bought the houses on the 2500 block of Thomes Avenue behind its downtown store. The company had planned to build a new store there.

Since then, the houses have stood boarded and vacant. Last week the state announced it had bought the 50-year-old store and the vacant properties for future office space. Safeway will close Feb. 27.

This fall, using the $2 million allocated by the Legislature to work on this and three other sites in the state, DEQ did further testing and found that groundwater contamination was much more extensive than thought.

The agency now knows it affects 30 homes and 39 businesses in an area south of Randall, east of O’Neil, north of West 22nd and west of Pioneer.

The problem is not expected to affect the plans for putting state offices in the old Safeway bulding.

This is considered an orphan site because the state can’t single out and confirm the source of the contamination, Pierce said. It probably came from leaks and spills from multiple sources over a 10- to 20-year period.

But the state has identified 10 possible sources, businesses that are now gone from the area: dry cleaners, auto maintenance shops and a print shop.

The found chemical, perchloroethylene — also known as “perc” or PCE — is a common cleaning solvent and degreaser for auto parts and machines. This is a common type of contamination in U.S. urban areas, Pierce said.



(my note – these are just for the chemicals they are testing for and do not include the other toxins that are likely present)


Schwarzenegger orders state to investigate birth defects in Kettleman City

The governor’s directive comes just days after a regional administrator with the EPA launched a federal inquiry into whether a large toxic dump near the community caused the deformities.

January 29, 2010|By Margot Roosevelt

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed state public health and environmental officials Friday to visit Kettleman City to conduct “a thorough investigation” into the causes of birth defects in the San Joaquin Valley farming community.

Schwarzenegger’s intercession comes more than a year after activists petitioned state agencies to investigate whether a large toxic dump near the community might be causing cleft palates and other defects among the mostly low-income Latino residents.

The dump, operated by Houston-based Waste Management, is the largest hazardous waste facility west of the Mississippi.

Earlier this week, Jared Blumenfeld, the regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, launched a federal inquiry, calling the situation “a human tragedy at a scale . . . none of us would want to have to endure.”

“We will take our time and spend time on the ground,” he said, alluding to activists’ complaints that state officials had refused to visit the beleaguered enclave. “When I hear about people doing reports without going to the community, it makes my blood boil,” he said.

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice , a San Francisco-based group that has organized the community, called Schwarzenegger’s action “long overdue” and urged him to order the state Department of Toxic Substances Control to suspend a permit application from Waste Management to expand the facility.

Schwarzenegger emphasized that the investigation would “include interviews with families,” as well as “a scientific review of soil samples and a full examination of medical records.” Officials would also review the overall birth defect rates over a 22-year period in the region.

Community members say that five babies out of 20 live births in a recent 14-month period had facial deformities. A review by the Kings County Public Health Department found that six of 63 babies born over the same period to mothers living in the town had various birth defects.

The community of 1,500 sits in a region heavily polluted by pesticides and fumes from diesel-powered trucks.

Waste Management said in a statement it is “pleased” that the state will investigate the birth defects in a “coordinated interagency approach.” It added, “We believe our Kettleman Hills facility is highly protective of human health and the environment.”

margot.roosevelt @latimes.com



In this Feb. 14, 1981, photo, Todd Domboski of Centralia, Pa., looks over a barricade at the hole he fell through just hours before this photo was taken in Centralia, Pa. The hole was caused by a mine fire that had been burning beneath the town since 1962, and it still burns today.


Centralia, Pa.: How an underground coal fire erased a town

The Centralia, Pa., coal fire is expected to drive out the town’s few remaining residents.

By Eoin O’Carroll Blogger / February 5, 2010

If officials in Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg, have their way, the borough of Centralia, Pa., will soon cease to exist.

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The last days of Centralia

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There’s not much left of the northeastern Pennsylvania coal town these days. Even in the early 1980s, some two decades after the underground fires began, more than a thousand people called Centralia home. But as the poisonous gases continued to seep from fissures in the ground, and as the sudden sinkholes threatened to cast people into the smoldering depths, the town emptied out.

Today, fewer than a dozen people remain.

Now the state wants those last holdouts gone. As the Associated Press’s Michael Rubinkam reports, state officials have ordered Centralia’s remaining residents to leave so that their homes can be demolished.

Nobody really knows exactly what started the fire, which began at a town dump in 1962. The burning trash ignited an exposed coal seam, and the fires seeped into the labyrinth of tunnels and shafts below. Over the next two-decades, firefighters tried eight times to douse the subterranean blaze, but the fire always seemed to be several steps ahead of them. Eventually, they gave up. Extinguishing the fire would be too expensive, and anyway it didn’t seem to pose too much danger.

In the early years of the fire, Centralians enjoyed not having to shovel their sidewalks and being able to harvest tomatoes from the warm ground in midwinter, Smithsonian magazine notes. But then, as the ground below turned to ash, the pavement started to buckle. The trees started dying. People started passing out in their homes from the toxic fumes.

Centralia’s moment of clarity came in 1981, when the ground beneath 12-year-old Todd Domboski opened up. Todd, who had been cutting through a resident’s yard, saved himself from plunging into the toxic inferno below by clinging to a tree root until a cousin rescued him.

Two years later, Congress appropriated $42 million to buy and demolish every home in the town. By 1990, only 63 people remained. In 2002, the US Postal Service eliminated Centralia’s ZIP Code.

Still, a few diehards remained, squatting in houses they no longer own after the government seized them through eminent domain in the early 1990s. Some claim that the whole thing is a plot to seize mineral rights.

As the Monitor’s Carmen Sisson noted in 2006, Centralia’s mammoth deposits of anthracite, which once promised limitless prosperity, are now expected to burn for another 250 years.

Today, the town is not so much of a ghost town as it is a big open space with a grid of empty streets. The homes have been demolished, the rubble cleared, and the driveways now lead to nowhere.

As the AP’s Michael Rubinkam notes, it didn’t have to be this way. Had town officials taken swift action back when they first became aware of it, Centralia could still exist.

[The fire] could have been extinguished for thousands of dollars then, but a series of bureaucratic half-measures and a lack of funding allowed the fire to grow into a voracious monster — feeding on millions of tons of slow-burning anthracite coal in the abandoned network of mines beneath the town.

At first, most Centralians ignored the fire. Some denied its existence, choosing to disregard the threat.

Half-measures. Complacence. Conspiracy theories. Denial. These themes are familiar to anyone who follows environmental topics. As Centralia is deleted from Pennsylvania’s official registers, we can only hope that the name will remain in our minds as a lesson about how creeping, incremental threats can, if ignored, destroy the very ground ground beneath our feet.

Follow Eoin on Twitter.

Editor’s Note: The Monitor’s Environment section has a new URL. And there’s also a new URL for our Bright Green blog. We hope you’ll bookmark these and visit often.



OSHA booklet outlines hexavalent chromium standards

Docuticker (blog) – ‎Feb 12, 2010‎

Workers exposed to this toxic chemical can develop lung cancer and damage to the nose, throat and respiratory system. Inhaling the chemical’s fumes can

Formaldehyde-Laden FEMA Trailers May Be Headed to Haiti

Courthouse News Service – Sabrina Canfield – ‎Feb 1, 2010‎

The wood swells with heat and sweats with moisture, increasing emissions of toxic formaldehyde fumes. “Just go ahead and sign their death certificate,” Paul

Residents Complain of Flavor Odors from Factory

San Clemente Times – ‎Feb 4, 2010‎

Concerns that a flavor factory’s odors and fumes could be toxic have prompted a local resident to file a complaint with the city. “It’s so sickeningly gross

On oil, a (human) line in the sand

Florida Today – Keyonna Summers – ‎Feb 13, 2010‎

Constant pollution in the form of drilling mud that carries toxic heavy metals and heavy fumes. Industrialization of the coast caused by oil rigs that

What you should know about coal tar sealant

News-Leader.com – ‎Feb 7, 2010‎

From a number of other sources, including diesel fumes and the charcoal that develops on a hot dog cooked on a grill. Not yet. The Environmental Protection

Solar Generator Providing Free Electricity Eliminates the Need for Gas …

TransWorldNews (press release) – ‎Jan 29, 2010‎

air conditioning or heat running and the food fresh in the fridge


– Posting Index –

Meeting Total Fat Requirements for School Lunches: Influence of School Policies and Characteristics »

OSHA booklet outlines hexavalent chromium standards

OSHA booklet outlines hexavalent chromium standards
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published Hexavalent Chromium, a booklet outlining industry requirements for hexavalent chromium standards. Workers exposed to this toxic chemical can develop lung cancer and damage to the nose, throat and respiratory system.

Inhaling the chemical’s fumes can cause allergic reactions or asthmatic symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Hexavalent chromium is used in pigments, metal finishing, wood preservatives and fungicides. Workers may also be exposed to hexavalent chromium fumes generated during welding of chromium metal alloys.

+ Full Document (PDF; 394 KB)



Kettleman City residents deserve clean water

Posted at 10:52 PM on Wednesday, Feb. 03, 2010

By Bill McEwen / The Fresno Bee


Similar stories:

Fed funds sought for Kettleman City water plant

Fed funds sought for Kettleman City water plant

HANFORD — Kings County officials said Monday they will seek federal and state funds for a new treatment plant in Kettleman City that would provide safe drinking water for the community and spur economic development.

Officials said they will request about $7.9 million in grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the federal economic stimulus program established to boost the national economy — and other funding sources to build the plant and water-storage tanks. The county has provided an additional $3 million for the project and has purchased the site for the plant.

Ground water in Kettleman City contains levels of arsenic that do not meet federal safety standards, officials said.

Kettleman City’s coverage

Kettleman City’s coverage

I was pleasantly surprised to read Bill McEwen’s Feb. 4 column, “Kettleman City residents deserve clean water.” I was also left wondering why it takes national exposure to the Valley’s dirty little secrets before our local papers decide to follow up on the story. I applaud Mr. McEwen for finding the back story on the salacious story of birth defects and focusing on possible solutions to the deeper, ongoing problem in the area.

I agree that residents of Kettleman aren’t looking for a handout, but rather, desperately need a water-treatment plant. However, we cannot expect our state and federal government to pay attention to the tiny town of Kettleman when even the local news agencies have chosen to ignore the pleas for help.

I know lack of water is a constant theme in the Valley, but why don’t we pay a little attention to our neighbor and realize that their children deserve safe drinking water more than our lawns. I call on The Bee to pay attention to this issue long after the national press has moved on

5 vie for seats on Coalinga council

5 vie for seats on Coalinga council

Candidates for Coalinga City Council say they hope to focus on bringing businesses and jobs to town and make improvements to the limited water supply to help the southwest Fresno County town prosper.

They are seeking election to a council that has been embroiled in controversy in recent years over the council’s firing of the city manager who refused to fire the police chief.

The former city manager, Stephen Julian, filed a $1.8 million claim earlier this year against the city for wrongful termination. He later reached a settlement with city officials for about $225,000.

Kettleman landfill to host EPA official

Kettleman landfill to host EPA official

The new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest region will tour the controversial Kettleman Hills hazardous waste landfill next week, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday.

EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld also will visit residents in the Kings County community of Kettleman City, who blame cleft-palate birth defects or other disabilities affecting five children on exposure to toxic waste at the site owned and operated by Waste Management Inc.

The company denies that the landfill is causing birth defects or health problems in Kettleman City.

Kettleman birth defects to be probed

Kettleman birth defects to be probed

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday ordered state environmental and public health officials to send experts to Kettleman City to investigate a rash of birth defects.

The governor’s directive comes after months of protests by residents of the small Kings County town, who suspect the birth defects are due to toxic wastes stored at the landfill, and the same week that a top federal environmental official in California focused attention on the issue.

Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s administrator for the Pacific Southwest region, told Kettleman City residents earlier this week that he had ordered an internal investigation to determine whether the federal agency had properly reviewed complaints that environmental regulations have been ignored at the landfill, which is owned and operated by Waste Management Inc.

A rash of birth defects and infant deaths in the isolated crossroads town of Kettleman City is attracting national attention and putting a powerful face on conditions there.

Investigators finally are investigating whether there is a link between the defects and all that envelopes Kettleman City: a daily average traffic count of 41,200 cars and trucks on two highways, chemicals used on vast agricultural fields and a hazardous waste landfill.

While government agencies investigate, let’s agree on one thing. The 1,500 people of this Kings County community — one of the most abused and poorest places in America — deserve clean water.

Right now, they drink and bathe in water that contains higher levels than federal standards allow for arsenic — although not high enough for regulators to ban drinking it. What’s more, the town can’t attract new business or accommodate establishments that want to expand because the community water district is at capacity.

Do you hear me, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Jim Costa?

On the radio

Listen to Bill McEwen’s talk show daily at noon on KYNO (AM 1300).

Folks in Kettleman City don’t want a handout. They just want a water-treatment plant.

With more water, developers could partner with citizens to build badly needed affordable, sweat-equity housing.

With more water, the town can build its tax base.

And with extra tax money, it could afford the luxury of streets, sidewalks and gutters.

“We have a moratorium on building because we don’t have the water,” says Aletha Ware, who has lived in Kettleman City since 1968. “People want to build. It’s the only way we can grow.”

Ware and others have been trying to get the plant for five years. Kings County has helped, forming a Redevelopment Agency for the town and loaning it $3 million. They need $4 million more. Despite hiring consultants and lobbyists to chase down grants, the county’s requests have fallen on deaf ears.

This slap in the face is hard to imagine given that the water-treatment plant is “shovel ready,” according to Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle, whose district includes the town.

“We have a great intersection,” Valle says of the Interstate 5 off-ramps feeding into Highway 41, which is packed with fast-food franchises and gas stations. “If the businesses can expand, the money stimulates our RDA and success will trickle down to the residential area.”

What town in America would benefit as much from $4 million?

What town in America sucks up as many diesel exhaust fumes in exchange for a per capita income of $7,389?

While Kettleman City goes without safe drinking water, money from the federal spigot flows freely for less worthy projects and out-and-out pork.

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi sliced $5 million from the latest defense spending bill to turn the old officer’s club at the Presidio into an information center and exhibit space.

Bay Area Democrat Mike Thompson delivered $54 million in stimulus money for flood control in an area where the Napa Valley wine train runs.

A water-treatment plant should be a higher priority than an information center at a closed army base. Largely because of urban encroachment, the Napa Valley floods every few years. People in Kettleman City drink bad water every day.

Republican indifference, I understand.

But I thought that Democrats were supposed to stick up for the poor and underserved.

Maybe there’s an asterisk in their mission statement: *Unless you live in Kettleman City.

“It seems like everybody is passing us by,” Ware says. “We pay our taxes. We want our own.”

The columnist can be reached at bmcewen@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6632. His blog is at fresnobeehive.com.



Monday, February 01, 2010Last Update: 9:43 AM PT

Formaldehyde-Laden FEMA Trailers May Be Headed to Haiti


NEW ORLEANS (CN) – The trailer industry and lawmakers have asked FEMA to send thousands of empty, Katrina-era trailers to Haiti. Opponents of the idea say sending the formaldehyde-emitting trailers is a self-serving attempt to dump shoddy U.S. products on the poor. U.S. citizens made homeless by hurricanes have filed thousands of lawsuits, and multiple class actions, claiming the trailers made them sick.
Days after Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake left up to 200,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, Mississippi state Senator Billy Hewes III, R-Gulfport, was among the first to say the 100,000 trailers, bought by the government after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, could be shipped to Haiti for shelter.
If the trailers are “being staged in Mississippi and there is no apparent use for them,” Hewes told the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, “there’s a great need for them down in Haiti and there’s no need for them to sit here in Mississippi.”
“If I had the choice between no shelter and having the opportunity of living in a shelter that might have some fumes, I know what I’d choose,” Hewe told The Associated Press.
“If these trailers were good enough for Mississippians, I would think they were good enough for folks down in Haiti as well.”
The trailers were bought by the government to house hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast hurricane refugees in 2005, but after people got sick – and by some accounts, died – tests found the trailers contained high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical found in building materials that can cause respiratory problems and cancer. Many of the trailers have sat empty for years, and many are damaged.
Opponents of the idea say that formaldehyde-laden particle board inside the trailers poses higher risks of toxicity in hot, humid climates – such as in the American South and Haiti. The wood swells with heat and sweats with moisture, increasing emissions of toxic formaldehyde fumes.
“Just go ahead and sign their death certificate,” Paul Nelson of Coden, Ala., whose mother allegedly died because of formaldehyde fumes in her FEMA trailer, told The Associated Press.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, which is coordinating U.S. assistance in Haiti, has expressed no interest in sending the trailers to the earthquake-stricken country, the AP reported. FEMA spokesman Clark Stevens declined to comment on the idea.
Haitian Culture and Communications Minister Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said she hadn’t heard of the idea and added: “I don’t think we would use them. I don’t think we would accept them.”
In a Jan. 15 letter to FEMA, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the trailers could be used as temporary shelter or emergency clinics.
“While I continue to believe that these units should not be used for human habitation, I do believe that they could be of some benefit on a short-term, limited basis if the appropriate safeguards are provided,” he wrote.
For the recreational and travel trailer industry, which has lost thousands of jobs during the recession, the push to send the trailers to Haiti is motivated by more than charity. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed in the South against the largest trailer manufacturers – among them, Indiana-based Gulf Stream Coach – by people who lived in the trailers and say they have suffered illnesses as the result of toxic gases.
Bidding is under way in an online government-run auction to sell the trailers in large lots at bargain prices. The RV industry fears the sales will reduce demand for new products. Some of the bids so far work out to less than $500 for trailers that ordinarily sell for about $20,000 new.
Lobbyists for the industry, much of which is based in Indiana and includes major manufactures such as Gulf Stream, have been talking to members of Congress and disaster relief agencies to see if it would be possible to send the trailers to Haiti.
“This isn’t really the best time for the RV Industry to have very low-priced trailers put out onto the market,” the group’s spokesman Kevin Broom told AP.
How much, if any, formaldehyde remains in the trailers is unknown. The auction site warns that the trailers may not have been tested for the chemical, and FEMA says buyers are required to sign an agreement not to use the auctioned trailers for housing. Broom maintains that most are “perfectly safe,” and “the handful of trailers that might have a problem” can be removed.
Lindsay Huckabee, who lived in a FEMA trailer in Mississippi for two years with her husband and five children, blames a series of illnesses on the trailer.
“While some shelter is better than no shelter,” she said, “sending FEMA trailers is a bad idea without tight controls and warnings.”
“I think it’s very self-serving to hand off a product that’s not good for Americans and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing a good thing here,'” she said.
In Haiti, Ermite Bellande said she has had no shelter since losing her three-story house. Still, she doesn’t want one of the trailers.
“We have nothing,” she lamented. “But I would rather sleep outside than be in a metal box full of chemicals.”
Joseph Pacious, who was hoping to find shelter at a tent city near the Port-au-Prince airport, disagreed. “The trailers may be hot, and they may make us sick,” he said. “But look at how we are living already. How bad can it be?”
Myriam Bellevu, who is sleeping in a tent because she does not feel safe in her damaged home, said: “If the trailers are not good, the Americans must keep them for themselves. It’s true that we are poor, but if they want to help, they must help in a good way.”
Officials with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said Mississippi does not have authority on the matter because the trailers belong to FEMA.
Hewes told the Sun Herald that he spoke with officials from the Port of Gulfport who are planning to send supplies to Haiti. In case the trailers are released by FEMA, the officials have looked into transportation. One container company at the Port of Gulfport, Crowley, has facilities in Haiti, although Haiti’s main port has been severely damaged.
Hewes said it might be possible to ship a few trailers in military cargo planes.



WEEE firm fined for exposing workers to mercury fumes

Environmental Expert (press release) – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎

A Glasgow-based Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment firm and its director have been fined £145000 for exposing workers to toxic mercury fumes at its

WEEE firm fined for exposing workers to mercury fumes

Source: Materials Recycling Week

Feb. 10, 2010


A Glasgow-based Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment firm and its director have been fined £145,000 for exposing workers to toxic mercury fumes at its Huddersfield recycling plant.

Employees including one who was pregnant, of Electrical Waste Recycling Group, were poisoned when ventilation systems failed at its recycling plant.

The firm recycles WEEE including fluorescent light tubes containing mercury and TV sets and monitors containing lead (see MRW story).

Bradford Crown Court heard (February 5) that 20 employees had levels of mercury in their system “above UK guidance levels”.

Five of the employees showed “extremely high levels” following the exposure which happened between October 2007 and August 2008.

The firm was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £35,127 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

As well as three separate breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, and one breach of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002.
Company director Craig Thompson, was also fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 7 (1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Several workers had reported ill health as a result of the exposure, including a pregnant worker who was concerned that her unborn baby was at risk.

After the hearing Health and Safety Executive inspector Jeanne Morton said: “This is a shocking case involving a large number of employees, many of them young and vulnerable, who were suddenly faced with the worrying possibility of damage to their long-term health.
“The risks associated with handling toxic substances like mercury have been known for generations, so it is all the more unacceptable that something like this has happened.

“The company failed to see the risks created by their recycling work and failed to develop effective plans for safe working. They also did nothing to check their workers’ health after exposure.

“Workers have a right to expect a reasonable level of protection in the workplace, and employers have a legal duty to provide it.”



Steve Penrod Named Vice President of United States Enrichment Corporation

Source: Business Wire

Feb. 19, 2010

BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) today announced that Steve Penrod has been elected vice president of the United States Enrichment Corporation. He will also remain the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant’s general manager.

USEC’s subsidiary, the United States Enrichment Corporation, operates a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky and does contract work for the U.S. Department of Energy in Piketon, Ohio.

Penrod has served as general manager of the Paducah plant since 2005. Prior to this assignment, he served as the plant manager for seven years.

Robert Van Namen, senior vice president of uranium enrichment, said, “We are pleased to recognize such a talented and experienced manager like Steve who has played a critical role in improving USEC’s enrichment operations.”

Penrod joined the Paducah plant in 1979 as a design engineer and later became an engineering project manager. He has served in several supervisory positions since then in operations, health physics and the health and safety division. Penrod earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University.

USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.



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Multinationals causing ₤1.4tn of damage to environment every year

Source: BusinessGreen

Feb. 19, 2010


The world’s 3,000 largest companies are causing £1.4 trillion worth of environmental damage every year, according to an unpublished UN report seen by the Guardian.

The report calculated around half the cost was associated with the release of greenhouse gases, while the remainder of the costs arise from local air pollution, and damage caused by the over-use and pollution of freshwater and fisheries.

These unaccounted environmental costs equate to six to seven per cent of the companies’ combined turnover, or an average of one-third of their profits. However, the report also noted some businesses would be much harder hit than others if made finanically responsible for the environmental externalities they cause.

Richard Mattison, chief operating officer of Trucost, which carried out the report for the UN, told the Guardian: ‘Externalities of this scale and nature pose a major risk to the global economy and markets are not fully aware of these risks, nor do they know how to deal with them.’

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FarrAPC.com – Factory Dust Explosions, Industrial Dust Collection Systems exceed OSHA dust collector mandates

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Business Green, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG, United Kingdom – this info about multinationals causing 1.4 trillion pounds of damage to the environment every year





Lawsuit: Putrid fumes drove tenants from Mesa strip mall

by Angelique Soenarie – Jan. 29, 2010 09:21 AM
The Arizona Republic

Jennifer Parks opened her Pizza Fusion franchise in east Mesa with the intent of offering pizzas made with organic and natural ingredients and delivered in hybrid cars. Even her building was made from eco-friendly material.

In fact, it became the first Arizona restaurant to win silver certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED.

But her dream lasted less than a year.

Last summer, she closed because of a hazardous odor that she believes cost her business.

She is not alone. Three other tenants at the Shoppes at Legacy House center on McKellips Road, east of Higley Road, say their businesses were also affected by the odor and closed their doors.

They also say that the property manager, Phoenix-based Capital Asset Management, is now coming after them for back rent.

In a lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, the tenants contend the property managers failed to promptly fix an improperly installed sewer line, causing noxious gases to build and creating a putrid smell throughout the complex for more than a year.

The property managers have yet to file a legal response. They declined to speak on the record to the Republic, but issued a statement in response to written questions.

They said actions by Parks and a neighboring steakhouse contributed to the sewer problem, and that several tenants broke their lease before giving the company a fair chance to fix it.

They also contend that several of the tenants were behind on rent and said they had tried to work with them before the odor became an issue.

“After all the work was completed the tenants all moved out without notice,” said the statement from broker Merri Krugen and owner Aaron Strole, of Capital Asset Management.

They also said one tenant damaged the space when they moved and removed plumbing, electrical fixtures, and a water heater.

But Parks and the other tenants said they left because the smell was not only unbearable, but toxic.

“We were trying to offer (organic food) being that our returning customers wanted something healthy,” Parks said. “Then there’s this smell. It kind of defeats the purpose,” she said.

All parties agree that the problem stemmed from a dip in the sewer line that caused it to back up, creating hydrogen sulfide gas.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable hazardous gas that smells like a rotten egg. Exposure to small amounts – less than 10 parts per million – are not considered harmful.

In early July, the Mesa Water Resources Department measured gas concentrations in excess of 500 ppm, well above the safe level, city records show.

City officials recommended that the property managers send a camera into the line to identify any plumbing problems.

Days later, a plumber found a dip in the interior of the drain line that was causing waste to back up 4 feet to 5 feet beneath the shopping center, a city report shows.

According to the property managers’ statement, the problem was aggravated by the fact that grease traps at EJ’s Steakhouse were backed up while at the same time, Pizza Fusion was pouring hot water into the drains.

That caused grease to flush into the sewer line, where it became trapped in the bend and decayed, creating the gas.

A city report, however, states that EJ’s practices were adequate and did not fault the restaurant. It concluded that the gas was caused by “internal and external plumbing problems.”

On July 10, the property managers cleaned out the lines in an attempt to stop the smell while they got bids to repair the sewer line. Weeks later, the statement said, EJ’s closed without notice, and crews went to clean out its grease traps on July 30.

According to the statement, that cleaning caused tenants to complain of an overwhelming gas smell and call the fire department. The statement claims that while several people were treated after being overcome by the smell, no hazardous gas traces were found.

However Parks claims in the suit that she was hospitalized and treated for hydrogen sulfide poisoning, as were two employees from a nearby Office Max.

The property owners say the sewer problem was fixed by the first week of August, but by that time two of the tenants had already broken their leases and left. However, during the August 4 repair, tenants claim in their suit they were again overcome by the gas and forced by the fire department to evacuate for five hours.

“The sewer smell was addressed and resolved,” the statement said. “The tenants moved out during the night and without any notification . . . This seems to be a case of a group of tenants that are looking for a way to be released from their leases.”

However Joseph Stalcup, part owner of EJ’s Steakhouse, the center’s first tenant, said he noticed an odor almost from Day 1 and told the owners about it.

He said the odor persisted the entire time he was open, affecting both his customers and the staff of his restaurant, which had received rave reviews from local media for its meals and a meat shop. He said it took him a week to move out and that he didn’t damage the unit when he left. He said he took his kitchen equipment because it was purchased with a Small Business Administration loan that he is still obligated to pay.

Lynn Knuth of Red Mountain Family Chiropractic also moved her practice to the center when it opened.

She said she complained about the odor while her office was under construction, but was told it was from construction work. Knuth eventually moved to another location and is seeing an increase in business.

The fourth tenant in the suit is Derek Frader, owner of Kaizen Martial Arts Academy, who left the complex in June and moved down the street. He said he left because the odor was making his students and pregnant wife sick.

The gas also burned through parts of his karate mats and left a residue, he said.

Two of the four tenants, Pizza Fusion and EJ’s Steakhouse are no longer in business.

Parks said she could not reopen if she wanted to because she owes thousands of dollars in franchising and vendor fees.

She said she and her husband, who is a firefighter, are barely making a living, even with a side plumbing business.

“It was one whirlwind after another,” said Parks, who said that stress over losing her business and being exposed to the hazardous smell has caused a series of health problems.

“To have the business go down . . . ” said Parks, her voice trailing off with tears in her eyes. Parks said before she closed her business last summer she hosted a fundraiser to help a two-year-old who was sick with a heart condition. “That’s what kills me, not being able to give back to the community.”

Parks said when the odor was not affecting her business, she had customers.

“I really believed in my business,” she said.

Make your voice heard



Toxic batts claim ups pressure on Garrett

Updated February 13, 2010 14:55:00

Peter Garrett says he has not seen proof to back up claims that dangerous levels of chemicals were present in the insulation batts. (ABC News: file photo)

The Opposition has ramped up calls for Peter Garrett to resign as Environment Minister, after he said he was warned imported insulation batts may contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.

Mr Garrett has been under fire in Parliament all week over the safety of the Federal Government’s insulation program, with the Opposition saying he repeatedly ignored safety warnings about problems that led to the deaths of four insulation installers.

Now Mr Garrett has confirmed that an industry leader warned him cheap imported insulation reeked of formaldehyde and could generate toxic fumes when heated.

Warrick Batt says he has had several meetings with Mr Garrett over the last six months and also raised concerns about whether the batts were being installed to Australian standards.

Mr Garrett says he has not seen any proof to back up claims that dangerous levels of chemicals were present in the insulation batts.

“We know that formaldehyde is used as a binding agent, but all batts have to conform to Australian standards and if products that conform to those standards and have the appropriate warnings then they’re acceptable to go into ceilings,” he said.

Opposition Environment spokesman Greg Hunt says he should be sacked.

“It’s about standing up for the Australian people on the basis of safety,” he said.

Mr Hunt says it should not be left to the insulation industry to produce the proof.

“Mr Garrett’s program created the problem, created the need for importing Chinese batts and we know that there are potentially deadly Chinese batts,” he said.

“Of course the Government should oversee its program.

“To blame the industry, to blame the installers and not to take responsibility is simple negligence and the Minister now, surely, must go.”

Opposition leader Tony Abbott says the matter calls into question Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s competency.

“Someone has to take responsibility for the very, very serious maladministration of this program,” he said.

“But every day Mr Rudd protects this incompetent Minister, his own Prime Ministership is called more into question.”

Mr Garrett says he has Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s full support.

Tags: government-and-politics, federal-government, labor-party, liberal-party, programs-and-initiatives, australia

First posted February 13, 2010 14:47:00




Chk –

The Ghost Writer – CNN Live report on 4.3;;;8 pmET – 02-20-10

And “The Informant” about Archer-Daniels- Midlands agribusiness price fixing schemes – yes happened


Suspicious Shipwrecks and Toxic Seas

Posted on 30 January 2010 by | Maggie Romuld | Posted In: Science

a-four-year-old-scandal-involv2 – (photo on MyPictures)

Increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and increased costs for processing, transporting and storing toxic waste have made illegal dumping a profitable business throughout the world, and yesterday,  Scientific American reported that scientists from the University of Calabria in Italy are certain that ships full of poisonous garbage have been scuttled in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Legambiente, an Italian environmental organization, an average of two ships per year disappeared in the Mediterranean under suspicious circumstances during the 1980s and early 1990s. Physicist Massimo Scalia of the University of Rome acknowledges that while “no wreck has yet been found that contains toxic or radioactive waste,” their existence has been proven “beyond reasonable doubt.” Scalia has been involved in parliamentary commissions on illegal waste disposal, and he believes that almost 40 ships were “wrecked under questionable circumstances between 1979 and 1995 alone.” In every case the crew was long gone before the ship sank.

The problem of illegal dumping is certainly not confined to the Italian coast and Scalia further states that “The tsunami of December 2004 dredged up giant metal containers from the seabed and placed them on Somali beaches—proving that the country’s coastal waters had also received questionable trash.” The United Nations has attributed internal hemorrhages and deaths of local people to fumes from that trash.


Written by: Maggie Romuld

Maggie lives in southern Alberta, Canada in a now-empty nest with her husband and various assorted pets. She studies rivers, teaches Earth Sciences at a local college, and writes for a sustainability magazine. A half-finished PhD is gathering dust in her office.


January 25, 2010

Federal probes begin at DuPont plant

By Ken Ward Jr.

Staff writer


Read updates in the Sustained Outrage blog.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal investigators began to descend on DuPont Co.’s Belle chemical plant Monday after a worker who was sprayed in the face by the poison gas phosgene died and U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd warned of “a severe breakdown in even the most basic safety protocols.”

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors were at the plant Monday, and a team from the federal Chemical Safety Board has also been dispatched to begin a separate probe.

Carl “Dan” Fish, 58, of Gallagher, died Sunday at CAMC General Hospital. He had worked at the Belle plant for 32 years.

On Saturday, Fish was hit with a small cloud of phosgene that leaked from a line used to transfer phosgene from storage cylinders to a crop protection chemical production unit, plant officials said.

The fatal accident was the third in a series of four incidents at the Belle plant in just two days, including Friday’s discovery of a 1,900-pound leak of toxic and flammable methyl chloride that went undetected for nearly a week.

Byrd, D-W.Va., urged federal and state agencies “to act swiftly in mitigating any threats that may exist at the plant, to identify breakdowns in the safety structure, and to recommend and implement corrections.

“That deadly toxic chemicals reportedly were allowed to escape over a period of days undetected suggests a severe breakdown in even the most basic safety protocols,” Byrd said in a statement released Monday.

DuPont officials had already announced their own “safety pause” in which workers were reviewing the entire facility for problems and not restarting manufacturing units until any issues are resolved.

“The purpose of the safety stand down is to reinforce the seriousness of this situation and maintain the site’s focus on safe work, consistent with DuPont’s core values,” the company said in a statement.

“The site is undergoing a thorough investigation of the units involved in the incidents.”

But the company has offered few details on how the methyl chloride leak could have gone unnoticed for so long, or about exactly how Fish might have been hit in the face with phosgene fumes.

Read updates in the Sustained Outrage blog.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal investigators began to descend on DuPont Co.’s Belle chemical plant Monday after a worker who was sprayed in the face by the poison gas phosgene died and U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd warned of “a severe breakdown in even the most basic safety protocols.”

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors were at the plant Monday, and a team from the federal Chemical Safety Board has also been dispatched to begin a separate probe.

Carl “Dan” Fish, 58, of Gallagher, died Sunday at CAMC General Hospital. He had worked at the Belle plant for 32 years.

On Saturday, Fish was hit with a small cloud of phosgene that leaked from a line used to transfer phosgene from storage cylinders to a crop protection chemical production unit, plant officials said.

The fatal accident was the third in a series of four incidents at the Belle plant in just two days, including Friday’s discovery of a 1,900-pound leak of toxic and flammable methyl chloride that went undetected for nearly a week.

Byrd, D-W.Va., urged federal and state agencies “to act swiftly in mitigating any threats that may exist at the plant, to identify breakdowns in the safety structure, and to recommend and implement corrections.

“That deadly toxic chemicals reportedly were allowed to escape over a period of days undetected suggests a severe breakdown in even the most basic safety protocols,” Byrd said in a statement released Monday.

DuPont officials had already announced their own “safety pause” in which workers were reviewing the entire facility for problems and not restarting manufacturing units until any issues are resolved.

“The purpose of the safety stand down is to reinforce the seriousness of this situation and maintain the site’s focus on safe work, consistent with DuPont’s core values,” the company said in a statement.

“The site is undergoing a thorough investigation of the units involved in the incidents.”

But the company has offered few details on how the methyl chloride leak could have gone unnoticed for so long, or about exactly how Fish might have been hit in the face with phosgene fumes.

“He was just walking by, doing an inspection in the area,” said plant manager Bill Menke. “As to why it occurred, that’s still under investigation.”

In its initial media statement, DuPont said that Fish was hospitalized “for treatment and observation as part of the standard protocol for exposure to this material.”

Phosgene is a valuable building block for making other chemicals and DuPont uses it to produce various crop protection chemicals. But, it is also extremely toxic. It was used as a chemical weapon in World War I, and is considered dangerous even in very tiny levels.

As little as 2 parts per million of phosgene is considered “immediately dangerous to life or health” by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Phosgene can cause coughing and watery eyes, but can also lead to heart failure and to pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs that can be fatal.

DuPont buys phosgene in 2,000-pound cylinders, and stores about 44,000 pounds of the chemical on site, according to plant officials and company disclosures filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Menke said Fish was exposed when “less than a pound” of phosgene leaked from a hose that is used to transfer the material from storage cylinders to manufacturing units. The hose was attached to the unit and a storage cylinder at the time, but was isolated from them with safety valves, Menke said.

The other incidents were a sulfuric acid leak Saturday morning and what the company initially described as a “small fire” Saturday night, but later said was just electrical “arcing.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., called the events at the plant “very disturbing” and said he had been in contact with DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman to express his concerns.

“There must be a thorough review and investigation of DuPont’s overall safety infrastructure and the facility’s compliance with emergency notification requirements to Metro 911 and federal agencies,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

William E. Wright, a member of the Chemical Safety Board, said his agency was concerned about recent events at the Belle plant “and will proceed with an investigation to understand why these unfortunate events occurred.”

The CSB does not issue citations or fines. Instead, the agency tries to find root causes for chemical accidents and recommends ways to avoid similar events.

In voting Monday to launch its own investigation, the Chemical Safety Board said it was aware of six other releases from the Belle plant since December 2006.

Board spokesman Dan Horowitz referred requests for a copy of that list to board investigator John Vorderbrueggen, who did not immediately respond to a request.

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw…@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.

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October 28, 2009

Science academy may study Bayer MIC stockpile

By Ken Ward Jr.

Staff writer


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Academy of Sciences would study ways for Bayer CropScience to eliminate the use of deadly methyl isocyanate at its Institute plant, under a budget bill likely to be approved by Congress.

Lawmakers tucked $600,000 in funding for the study into a conference committee report on the appropriations bill for Interior, Environment and related agencies. The report was made public Wednesday.

Because it’s part of a larger budget bill, and has received conference committee approval, the study funding is likely to become law.

Under the provision, the National Academy would “examine the use and storage of methyl isocyanate, including the feasibility of implementing alternative chemicals or processes as an examination of the cost of alternatives” at the Bayer plant.

The Bayer plant, adjacent to West Virginia State University’s campus, stores more than 200,000 pounds of MIC, the chemical that killed thousands of people in a 1984 leak at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.

Federal lawmakers, including Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., have been taking a closer look at the Bayer facility following the August 2008 explosion and fire that killed two workers.

In April, congressional investigators concluded that the explosion could have easily damaged a nearby MIC storage tank and triggered a disaster that would have been worse than Bhopal. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board described the incident as “potentially a serious near miss, the results of which might have been catastrophic for workers, responders and the public.”

In late August, as the one-year anniversary of the deadly explosion in Institute approached, Bayer announced it was cutting its MIC storage by about 80 percent. After the changes, Bayer hopes to keep its daily maximum MIC inventory below 50,000 pounds — still far more than any other chemical plant in the nation.

Previously, legislative language had been proposed to require the Chemical Safety Board to conduct a detailed study of MIC use and storage at the Bayer facility.

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw…@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Academy of Sciences would study ways for Bayer CropScience to eliminate the use of deadly methyl isocyanate at its Institute plant, under a budget bill likely to be approved by Congress.

Lawmakers tucked $600,000 in funding for the study into a conference committee report on the appropriations bill for Interior, Environment and related agencies. The report was made public Wednesday.

Because it’s part of a larger budget bill, and has received conference committee approval, the study funding is likely to become law.

Under the provision, the National Academy would “examine the use and storage of methyl isocyanate, including the feasibility of implementing alternative chemicals or processes as an examination of the cost of alternatives” at the Bayer plant.

The Bayer plant, adjacent to West Virginia State University’s campus, stores more than 200,000 pounds of MIC, the chemical that killed thousands of people in a 1984 leak at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.

Federal lawmakers, including Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., have been taking a closer look at the Bayer facility following the August 2008 explosion and fire that killed two workers.

In April, congressional investigators concluded that the explosion could have easily damaged a nearby MIC storage tank and triggered a disaster that would have been worse than Bhopal. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board described the incident as “potentially a serious near miss, the results of which might have been catastrophic for workers, responders and the public.”

In late August, as the one-year anniversary of the deadly explosion in Institute approached, Bayer announced it was cutting its MIC storage by about 80 percent. After the changes, Bayer hopes to keep its daily maximum MIC inventory below 50,000 pounds — still far more than any other chemical plant in the nation.

Previously, legislative language had been proposed to require the Chemical Safety Board to conduct a detailed study of MIC use and storage at the Bayer facility.

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw…@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.

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Pollutants giving you sick car syndrome

House Calls

By Gerald W. Deas, M.D.

Folks spend a great deal of time to and from in automobiles. They are constantly exposed to environmental pollutants. Certainly, most cars today have heaters, as well as air-conditioning systems. They also have other ventilation systems which draw air from the outside to the inside of the car.

I am sure that you have had the experience of sitting in your car behind a bus, truck or outdated car and smelling the gas fumes leaping out at you. Those gases are toxic and that is why they are exhausted to the outside. Many folks, however, can be allergic to the hundreds of chemicals in the exhaust gas. These irritants affect the eyes, skin, nasal passages and respiratory system.

In the winter, particularly, when all windows are closed tightly, these toxic substances become highly concentrated, resulting in symptoms that might be misinterpreted as viral or bacterial infections.

Because of my background in industrial toxicology, I have always been aware of environmental causes of diseases. Asthma, as well as bronchitis can be produced from even dry cleaning fluid that is present in clothing that you have just picked up from the cleaners. In fact, those clothes should be aired out properly before putting them in your home closet.

If the filters of the air conditioning system in your car are not adequately cleaned, you might be exposed to mold and other infectious agents. This is known as the “sick car syndrome.”

Recently, the market has been flooded at garages with chemical laden deodorizers which are hung in your car. They give off odors simulating anything from a strawberry to a new car smell. All of these items have been saturated with chemicals that are capable of vaporizing due to the cars heating system. Many folks may experience a chemical asthma or bronchitis. One should take this very seriously if you are transporting children or babies. This allergic reaction could cause a runny nose and itchy eyes and an antihistamine is not the answer.

I hope that by this time you get my point. Anything that is natural or unnatural can trigger allergic asthma and bronchitis, which should not be treated with cold remedies and antibiotics. You can prevent the “sick car” syndrome by airing out your car and not driving with the windows so tightly closed, especially during the winter months.

Many folks can also experience this same feeling of carsickness due to the cars motion and this is called “motion sickness.” One can experience this in cars, airplanes, trains, elevators as well as sailing. This condition can be relieved with a simple antihistamine known as Dramamine. This drug was discovered several years ago by scientists at Johns Hopkins Hospital that relieved patients suffering from hives. It was also used during WWII on seagoing troops to prevent seasickness.

I believe that many auto accidents might be caused by toxic chemicals released into the cars, which could produce mental confusion and thus be a contributing factor, rather than an alcohol consumption. By all means, do not drink while driving!

For great health tips and access to an online community of physicians and other healthcare professionals visit Dr.Deas.com.

This is part of the February 10, 2010 online edition of Frost Illustrated.

Have an opinion on this matter? We’d like to hear from you. Click here.



Globalization batters Bangladesh

By Sara Flounders

Published Feb 12, 2010 7:54 PM

Are the global problems of grinding poverty, illiteracy and hunger faced by a majority of the world’s population a mere accident of history? Is the enormous inequality and underdevelopment of the formerly colonized countries of Africa and Asia due solely to the crimes of conquest by European colonial powers 100 and 200 years ago?

Or does U.S. imperialism and modern finance capital in the drive to maximize profits bear the greatest responsibility for continuing and actually intensifying this historic inequality?

Tea workers’ meeting.

WW photos: Michael Kramer

These are the questions that were discussed again and again during a visit to Bangladesh to attend the convention of the Socialist Party of Bangladesh as 2009 ended.

Following the party’s dynamic convention in Dhaka, the Socialist Party of Bangladesh made every effort to introduce the international delegates to as much of the struggle around the country as possible.

The SPB-arranged trip was accompanied by party General Secretary Khalequzzaman and several other party leaders from the capital, Dhaka, a densely populated city of 14 million, to Chittagong, the industrial port — a city of 4 million. The U.S. military continues to pressure Bangladesh to grant port facilities and landing rights at this strategic seaport on the Bay of Bengal.

Barefoot Bangladesh workers strip steel
ships in Chittagong’s.toxic hell.

After attending a rally of about 1,000 people in Chittagong, the international group traveled to the southernmost tip of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal, then to the border of Myanmar, and to an island off the southern tip, where the U.S. is also pressing for a base. Then it proceeded to the east of Dhaka to the tea and rubber plantations of the hills in the Syhlet district. Delegates had the unique opportunity to attend organizing meetings of tea and rubber workers and to meet with activists working to organize garment workers and rickshaw drivers.

The trip was an opportunity to see how the imperialist countries enforce the serious underdevelopment of Bangladesh despite the enormous resources and potential of the country. Delegates were also able to observe the organizing efforts of the party in major cities and rural areas.

Roads were often single lanes of blacktop clogged with old trucks, dangerously overcrowded buses and countless rickshaws. Bicycle rickshaws propelled by human labor provide most transport for people and materials even in the capital, where there are more than 1 million rickshaw drivers in motion almost round the clock. It is a brutal job with no security.

Lowest pay in the world

Lining the roads of Dhaka are thousands of garment sweatshops, easily identified by the rows of fluorescent lights glowing inside. In the near dark of early morning, millions of garment workers, primarily young women, rush to arrive on time for 12-hour work shifts. It is dark again as they leave.

The pay in Bangladesh for garment workers is the lowest in the world. Garment workers in India, Vietnam and Thailand now earn an average of $60 a month, a desperately low wage. But in the capitalist race to maximize profits on a global scale Bangladesh now has the largest garment industry in Asia — workers are paid only $20 per month with no benefits and no job security.

Large retail trading companies in the U.S. and Western Europe give most of the orders for Bangladeshi garment products. A handful of Western banks control the capital funds. The garment industry has been a main source of foreign exchange in Bangladesh for the last 25 years. Women garment workers are now trying to organize for higher pay and improved working conditions.

Chittagong’s ship-breaking yards

The ship-breaking yards of Chittagong service another industry that reflects a globalized market’s ruthless exploitation of low wages in Bangladesh. The shipping industry is the backbone of international trade. It is also the source of major environmental toxins.

The SPB arranged to get a few delegates into the internationally notorious yards, along with video cameras. There had been a deadly explosion in one of the yards the day before the international delegates arrived in Bangladesh. Security in all the yards was tight.

At high tide a spent vessel is driven onto the beach. It is then pulled apart by thousands of workers laboring with bare hands or using acetylene torch cutters to break huge carriers down into small pieces. Workers wear no helmets, gloves, goggles, restraining harnesses or even shoes.

This inferno of fumes and toxic chemicals creates hellish working conditions. Asbestos, lead, chromates, mercury, metal shards, radiation, noise, intense vibration, and welding and cutting fumes all mix together.

The industry is subject to no environmental laws and no health or safety requirements. No statistics are kept of accidents.

This toxic industry could not exist without the active complicity of the largest shipping conglomerates. Hundreds of ships from cargo vessels, bulk carriers, fish factories to super tankers ride at anchor in the sea waiting to be scrapped at over 70 ship-breaking yards.

Previously ships could be scrapped in two weeks in a modern shipyard using union labor in Britain, Japan, Germany, the U.S. or other countries where ships used to be built. In the last 25 years of the globalized labor market, all this has changed. Breaking up one ship now takes over six months on a beach with unskilled labor. This is now a cheaper way to recycle parts of an aging ship. Thousands of small shops, each selling a few recycled electronic or metal pieces of salvage, line the roads to the ship-breaking yards.

Ever since International Monetary Fund bankers denied credits and forced Bangladesh to shutter its steel plants, Bangladesh depends on ship breaking to meet its domestic steel requirements.

China once had a major ship-breaking industry. But as soon as China began enforcing environmental and safety laws, this dangerous industry became unprofitable there. In international shipping there is a race to find countries where no occupational health and safety standards are enforced and where wages are the lowest — a race to the bottom.

Tea and rubber workers organize

A major cash crop in Bangladesh, tea is bought and sold on the world market by a handful of large corporations. The tea pickers are mainly women and children. Men do the pruning, cutting and road work.

A high moment of the trip was attending a night meeting of hundreds of workers on an isolated tea plantation in the Syhlet district. Their very moving meeting was a vibrant mix of music, chants and talks of labor conditions. Based on their organizing, the workers at several plantations had finally won a 50 percent pay increase from $10 a month to $15 a month. They were determined to win their demands for schools for their children and basic health care.

Ratan Rajequzzaman, a leader of the Socialist Workers Front, explained in depth about both working conditions and organizing efforts.

British colonial plantation owners had imported tea workers from southern India more than 150 years ago. These workers have lived in both cultural and linguistic isolation ever since. They work under conditions of modern-day indentured slaves and depend totally on management for food and all basic necessities. These workers, who are victims of the greatest abuse and discrimination, seldom leave these extensive plantations.

Tea and rubber plantations are often combined, with tea bushes on one side of the road and rubber trees on the other. Tea plantations are idyllically called “tea gardens.” Picnicking in a tea garden is a popular tourist attraction for middle-class and returning Bangladesh immigrants. But picturesque photos of women bending and stooping to pluck tea leaves can hardly convey this backbreaking work or show that there is no protection from dangerous fertilizers and pesticides.

Archaic equipment for drying, shredding and bagging tea leaves exposes an industry that has changed little in decades. But now the old relations are being challenged with new energy.

Challenging the theft of resources

Along with its focus on labor organizing, the SPB has helped in organizing broad coalitions to challenge the grossly unequal contracts presented by such multinational oil corporations as Chevron, Shell and Conoco for development of Bangladesh’s gas, oil and coal resources. The oil giants are demanding contracts of between 6 and 21 percent royalties after exploration costs are met.

On Jan. 12, the final day of the visit, Michael Kramer, representing the International Action Center, was able to participate in human-chain demonstrations challenging these outrageous leases that were organized across the country by the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Natural Resources. (The coalition has also opposed open-pit coal mining, which has resulted in destruction of wide areas of arable lands, water reservoirs and fish ponds.) The human chain was formed at 150 points along the cross-country line from Teknaf, the southernmost city, to Tentulia in the north.

Past challenges to unequal and secret leasing of national resources have led to important victories. A long march from Dhaka to Chittagong led to the cancellation of a 199-year lease of the country’s main seaport to a U.S. company.

In Bangladesh despite its enormous problems, made much worse by the global capitalist market, there are revolutionary forces who are confident that, with socialist planning and the creative involvement of the most oppressed and lowest paid workers in the world, the challenges to develop their rich resources are solvable in ways that will benefit the whole population.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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A Squeamish Surreal Charade

CounterCurrents.org – Prabhat Sharan – ‎Feb 5, 2010‎

In the city shrouded in a dark mass of toxic fumes with sleep-choked, stench-soaked streets running and twisting amidst architectural monstrous fulmination

Woman’s death after chemical spill leads to search for answers

SDNN – Khari Johnson – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎

“We could smell the fumes in the house for weeks,” Hope Goodwin said. The mature cottonwood trees near the spill would eventually die, as well as fruit

PARI Pharma Enrolls First Patient in Phase 2b Study of L-CsA

PR Newswire (press release) – ‎Feb 11, 2010‎

The disease is also a factor in other lung diseases such as collagen vascular diseases, inhalation of toxic fumes, and respiratory tract infections.

Letters: The noise bombardment

Jakarta Post – ‎Feb 7, 2010‎

while being bombarded by cars honking constantly and the never-ending sound of the engine, releasing toxic fumes in the air for others to breath.

Delaware adopts new NFPA codes

SecurityInfoWatch – ‎Feb 9, 2010‎

while NFPA 101 creates standards for building design and construction to protect occupants against dangers caused by fire, smoke and toxic fumes.


WEEE recycler fined £140000 over mercury exposure

letsrecycle.com – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎

Glasgow-based WEEE reprocessor Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd has been fined £140000 for exposing workers to toxic mercury fumes at its site in


TIO bombing described as a ‘mini Bali’

ntnews.com.au – Daniel Bourchier – ‎Feb 3, 2010‎

“The main injuries were burns, inhalation of toxic fumes, and mild airway injuries.” The worst affected had burns on up to 20 per cent of their body.


Mercury exposure causes company and director to be prosectued

February 10, 2010

A recycling company and its director have been fined after several workers reported ill health following expsoure to toxic mercury fumes.

Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd, of Glasgow, (formerly known as Matrix Direct Recycle Ltd) recycles electrical equipment, including fluorescent light tubes containing mercury and TV sets and monitors containing lead.

Ventilation problems at a plant in Kirkheaton meant that employees were being exposed to potentially harmful emissions. Following the exposure between October 2007 and August 2008, Bradford Crown Court heard how twenty employees had levels of mercury in their system above UK guidance levels. Five workers showed extremely high levels.

Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £35,127 costs. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, three separate breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, and one breach of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002.

Also fined was company director Craig Thompson, aged 38, of Huddersfield, who was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

The Health & Safety Executive issued five Improvement Notices and one Prohibition Notice to the company in relation to the incident.

HSE Inspector Jeanne Morton said after the hearing: “This is a shocking case involving a large number of employees, many of them young and vulnerable, who were suddenly faced with the worrying possibility of damage to their long-term health.

“The risks associated with handling toxic substances like mercury have been known for generations, so it is all the more unacceptable that something like this has happened.

“The company failed to see the risks created by their recycling work and failed to develop effective plans for safe working. They also did nothing to check their workers health after exposure.

Inspector Morton conlcuded: “Workers have a right to expect a reasonable level of protection in the workplace, and employers have a legal duty to provide it.”

Site inspector for the Environment Agency, Max Folkett, added: “We have worked closely with HSE and other organisations during the investigation which led to this prosecution.

“Electrical Waste Recycling Group Limited requires an environmental permit from us for the recovery and processing of hazardous waste and we routinely inspect the site to check the company is complying with the permit.

“We suspended the permit following this incident in August 2008, removing the risk of mercury escaping from the site, because of our concerns the operation posed a serious risk of pollution from mercury. Our soil monitoring around the site to check for long-term contamination showed metal levels not unusual for urban areas.”

Find out more about Environmental Awareness



539w –woman’s photo with scleroderma –  in File Two

(see caption and story below)

Elizabeth Lombard is among the residents of South Boston who has scleroderma, the autoimmune disease that hardens muscles and internal organs. (Suzanne Kreiter/ Globe Staff)

Scleroderma study brings little comfort

S. Boston cluster may be genetic, not environmental, but true cause is elusive

By Meghan Irons

Globe Staff / January 25, 2010

Elizabeth Lombard’s right hand is stiff and wooden, unable to flex or move.


“It won’t bend,’’ she said, displaying the tightened skin that is pulling back her fingers into a crooked and clawlike form.

Lombard has scleroderma, a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease that hardens muscles and internal organs, and causes the body’s immune system to attack itself.

The disease, which has no cure, has long confounded South Boston, where a cluster of longtime residents from the City Point section – most of them middle-aged women – were falling ill with it. The residents, who lived near a power plant and hazardous waste sites, believed they were victims of their environment.

Their case gained national media attention and sparked an 11-year investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In their findings, released earlier this month, state researchers acknowledged “higher than expected cases’’ of scleroderma in South Boston, a neighborhood of roughly 30,000 people.

But it determined that genetics, not the environment, played a significant role.

“It’s not necessarily that the community they were living in was producing this disease,’’ said Robert Simms, the chief of rheumatology at Boston Medical Center and a researcher in the study. “When you look at the data, it does not support that.’’

Researchers also said low participation in the $1.75 million study may have limited their ability to find an environmental link.

Without a large enough sample, Simms said, it was difficult for scientists to gather reliable estimates on scleroderma’s link to the residents’ proximity to toxic wastes and other pollutants.

“Those are the things the South Boston study tried to do and came up short,’’ said Simms, who added that the study now opens the door for much larger, national research.

The study found that people with a family history of specific autoimmune-rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s disease, lupus, and thyroid disease, were more likely to develop scleroderma.

For the women afflicted with the disfiguring disease, the findings have come as a bitter disappointment.

“I thought that if we had an answer then we could fix it,’’ said Lombard, whose eyebrows have fallen out and whose face is tight and covered with red blotches. “It would help us make sense of why so many of my neighbors have this horrible disease.’’

Ann Dilorati Macaulay, another woman with scleroderma, recalled being slick with oil after swimming in the bay and seeing soot raining down from the oil-burning former Boston Edison power plant, blackening residents’ clothing and backyard laundry. The plant now uses natural gas.

“I still believe that there is something in the environment that is causing this,’’ Macaulay said. “I do think there is a genetic component, but when we are exposed to it, it triggers the disease.’’Continued…

Page 2 of 2 —

For years, residents have been raising the issue of South Boston’s troubling history with pollution – streets that glistened with chemicals when it rained, fumes from planes heading to Logan, the smell from smokestacks not far away.

“I believe there is a cumulative effect,’’ said Mary Cooney, a South Boston activist who has been working with the state on the study. “If these women had grown up in West Roxbury or Hyde Park, they would not have gotten the disease.’’

Macaulay and Lombard were Fourth Street neighbors who found out they had the disease in the late 1990s. Back then, word spread in the tight-knit community. Names began surfacing about others who lived nearby who also had the disease.

Figuring it was not a coincidence, Lombard wrote a letter to the state seeking a review.

“Longtime residents, even if we had no proof, we were always suspicious about how this little tiny community can have all these people with this rare disease,’’ Lombard said.

In the study, researchers collected information about participants’ residential, occupational, and family medical histories. They checked for possible exposures to pollution, including hazardous waste sites and a Coastal Oil refinery.

Researchers tried to recruit large numbers of people for the study, but ended up with 41 people who have the disease and 219 randomly selected individuals who did not have it.

Such a small sample, though it suggested no link to the environment, was not large enough to draw hard conclusions, Simms said.

“The trouble is that science isn’t perfect,’’ said Simms. “It can’t always give the emotional validation that they are seeking.’’

More studies in the immediate future appear unlikely, though state researchers are encouraging present and past South Boston residents with scleroderma or lupus to participate in a national registry designed to identify a genetic link.

At her home in North Attleborough, Macaulay, with a physical therapist aiding her, lifted a resistance band over her head to exercise her arms. She is not convinced by the results.

The study may be over for South Boston, she said, but the battle to understand scleroderma has not.

“South Boston is very polluted,’’ she said. “I think [this disease is] still going to keep happening.’’

Meghan Irons can be reached at mirons@globe.com.



ndg1 wrote:

Toxins in the environment can effect, change or trigger genetic mutations. It seems to me that these studies begin with the end point in mind, which is, spare the companies and government any role or responsibility.

1/25/2010 5:48 AM EST

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JimmyCon wrote:

I believe they told the Woburn residents the same thing about their cancer cluster. Hard to believe that so many folks who grew up in the same neighborhood would develop this same disease.

1/25/2010 7:01 AM EST

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edwal wrote:

stupid researchers cant see the forest thru the trees they probably go around asking the old question about if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around does it still make noise classic case of to much education

1/25/2010 7:19 AM EST

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Potlemac wrote:

The good old Mass Dept of Public Health!!! They have yet to find an industry responsible for anything! Wouldn’t a simple map showing the number of cases surrounded a power plant be evidence enough for a reasonable person that something is wrong? Not for DPH. They want to go an study a remotely possible genetic link to this outbreak which means, simply, that industry is not responsible. Shameful!!!

1/25/2010 9:20 AM EST

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roweswharf wrote:

MGH is always doing medical studies subsidized by and for the benefit of Big Pharm. It’s time someone did a medical studies for the benefit of patients.

1/25/2010 10:24 AM EST

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JennieR wrote:

Toxins can trigger autoimmune diseases. Even if these people have a family history, it is not to be expected that the autoimmune disease would take this rare form. Scleroderma is normally quite rare.

1/25/2010 10:24 AM EST

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cjygudwin wrote:

There was no corporate input in this study in any way. Rhumatic autoimmune diseases do occur far more often in people of Northern Celtic descent than in other ethnic groups. The reason for this is not known. It is thought that hyperactivity of one type of immune response may have served some survival advantage in antiquity.

1/25/2010 10:53 AM EST

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Carnagal wrote:

I thought that at the same time of this Study that a Study for Lung Cancer, Lupus was also in order and that it was put on hold due to the $$$ not coming from the State. Well over one half of a million dollars had been spent and jobs were funded to the DPH. There should’ve been some results…or has this money been just p—-d away too?

1/25/2010 11:13 AM EST

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SingleVoice wrote:

cjygudwin: The “Northern Celtic” observation was my hypothesis, as well.

I wonder if the specific incidence identified for women to date in this study would mimic what one might find in the general population of one of Ireland’s historically industrial, coastal cities. Belfast, for example?

1/25/2010 11:23 AM EST

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thisisdumb09 wrote:

They’re upset because they can’t sue anyone and get a big chunk of money, which always eases the pain of disease.

Diseases happen, unfortunately- it doesn’t have to be someone’s “fault”.

1/25/2010 12:30 PM EST

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plunkettfan wrote:

But remember, no windmills to ruin our veiw off the Cape muffy

1/25/2010 2:14 PM EST

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sblass wrote:

So “thisisdumb09” evidentially you have family members afflicted by this “cruel” disease and I suppose they’re looking for ‘a big chunk of money’? So I see your id name fits your IQ….People are NOT always looking for money…they ARE looking for reasons “why” they have this disease, especially when there is no family history of it. Based on the Globe’s headline, I believe that the people ‘conducting’ these studies need to ‘really’ divulge the true information to the individuals afflicted, it doesn’t have to be disclosed on the front page of ANY newspaper. All I know is that the people affected with this are basically living with a death sentence!!

1/25/2010 3:09 PM EST

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Joannski wrote:

The MA Dept. of Public Health claims they couldn’t find a link to the Power Plant, etc. due to low participation in it’s study. Did they advertise in South Boston & on the South Shore (where most former Southie residents reside) that a study was to take place? My thoughts are they probably did not. I have long been of the opinion that the Power Plant in Southie caused many cancers. Far too many of my female friends, who grew up in City Point, were diagnosed with breast cancer & far too many of them are no longer with us due to that insidious cancer. The study should be reopened & expanded to include a study of cancer in Southie.

1/25/2010 3:58 PM EST

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citypointer wrote:

I read the comments. A couple of things struck me. First, was the connection to an Irish heritage. The study made no such statement. In fact, it was related to us that women of African-American heritage are afflicted to this in much higher numbers. Second, the comment asking about the money and the opinion that it may have been spent wrong. The fact was that other possible sources for these ailments couldn’t be studied because of the lack of funds. The state and volunteers worked hard to let the public know about the study. Sadly, for some reason the people contacted declined or refused to participate. This definitely hurt the study. Last, to ‘thisisdumb09’ I haven’t heard anybody talk about suing anyone or anything. That may be your answer to these sort of things. Nobody is looking for a ‘chunk of money’. We’re looking for a cause not fault. I’ll just attribute your comment to ignorance of the situation. I hope nothing of this sort occurs to you or any family of yours.

1/25/2010 5:13 PM EST

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dpenna wrote:

This was so well written and I appreciate the effort made by this reporter to share the stories of the warriors, Liz and Ann, who for 11 years taught us all something about grace and dignity in their daily battles with this disease.

1/25/2010 6:32 PM EST

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southiedot wrote:

igrew up on east fourth between m and n. we lost 3 guys to luekemia from the same class. my ma said dont eat the snow,it used to snow a lot then. it wasnt because of dor urine but the stuff coming from the edison and mbta power plants,landing on the snow.our clothes would actually have holes in them from the yellow and brown soot.diabetes in kids is also very high,especially on 2nd street between l and m . right under the edisons nose…makes you wonder…

1/25/2010 6:37 PM EST

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momofkeed wrote:

I agree, it is not always about the money. Sometimes, finding the source or cause of an ailment is the key to finding the cure.

1/25/2010 7:30 PM EST

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PeterES wrote:

Seems like most comments say that if a study doesn’t agree with your preconception then it’s a bad study; if it agrees then it’s a good one. Clustering is difficult. Try a little home experiment: sprinkle some raisins on your breakfast cereal and see if you observe some clustering.

1/26/2010 9:19 AM EST

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elombard wrote:

WOW, who said anything about money or lawsuits? That’s right, no one did, except the two commenters hiding behind anonymity.. I am one of the SB women stricken with Scleroderma in the prime of my life. None of us (not one) ever asked the questions we asked because we were laying the groundwork for a lawsuit, that’s you.. Looking for people to sue doesn’t rate when your fine motor skills are gone, your lungs are filling up with scar tissue or you’re on dialysis because your kidneys have stopped functioning properly. Many of us can’t zip our coats, start a car or hold a fork without help.
For the two ‘charmers’ who accuse us of looking for someone (anyone) to sue, you’re wrong, not everyone is like you. My husband & I raised five great kids, two who are active duty military so despite Scleroderma, I treasure my life. Thank you to dpenna, momofkeed & other commenters for not taking cheap (and cowardly) shots and who recognize that finding the source of something can often lead to a cure.

1/26/2010 9:52 AM EST

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blazingtruth wrote:

Liz Lombard you are an inspiration. You have persevered and raised a beautiful,beautiful family. I am in awe of what you have accomplished, your stamina and your incredible courage. Those of us who have been priviledged to see you in action know that you are fighting for future generations of South Boston children, so that they might not be afflicted with this horrible disease. Thank you for your fight on their behalf. The world is full of hard hearted, malcontents. With everything you have gone through, you had every excuse to become on of them but you have carried on with grace and dignity. God bless you.

1/26/2010 10:35 AM EST

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Gena-G wrote:

Ladies, you will always have idiots out there that have to put a dollar sign on everything or a least think that everyone else does. Now my heart goes out anyone that has to deal with this cripling disease. I too have this crazy condition. I have tried it all, I have the limited version. Which when I was first diagnosed with it two years ago I felt defeated as if my life was over. I tried things that really helped, and some that didn’t. I spent a lot of money on things that didn’t but after spending all this all a long main ingredient was Jesus. I know, I know lets not get God into this. But the truth of the matter is we have an advocate to turn to, and with his guidance he put man made products in my path to do his work. My disease is reversing. I would like to share more of my thoughts with anyone who wis intrested. It’s not church it’s products and prayer that has saved my life. Lets not sit defeated lets defeat it. I’m in the process of creating a website to post what worked on me so it may help someone else. I’m not very good on a computer. I’m looking for a website that is free or dirt cheap. So that everyone can try it for on cost to them if possible. Anyone can contact me through my e-mail Please if your contact me to judge me don’t i just want to help those who want and become a team to form against this disease. Remember there is power in numbers.

1/26/2010 3:32 PM EST

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lisanagy wrote:

I am a speaker on environmental health and Medical Doctor whose story has been on Nightline and in many newspapers. Environmental doctors I am sure were not involved with this assessment. I have bee lecuring on autoimmunity, chemical sensitivity, mental changes associated with environmental exposure among other topics. Feel free contact me if you need referral or look at the website www.aaemonline.org for the American Academy of environmental medicine’s practitioner listings.
My website is: www.environmentalmedicineinfo.com, lisa@nagy1.cm and 508 696 6998 is my contact info.

1/31/2010 3:08 AM EST

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ShamrockPoprock wrote:

Meghan Irons often forms her conclusion first(the bad business people caused the Scleroderma cases in South Boston) then reports only the facts that support her preconceived conclusions in her reports. There is almost a sense of disappointment that she and the so called “community activists” can’t pin the illness on the local businesses as the cause. Community activists are the worst source information to quote in a supposed news story because they have an agenda, and a failed politician like Mary Cooney who has tried to, and failed to get herself elected to public office seek the public spotlight by latching onto “causes”. Scientific facts to the contrary, Cooney will not be dismayed from forming her own conclusions and based on supposition and guesswork, not science. This lazy reporting style of relying on all too easy sources of “opinion vs facts” from attention seeking “community activists” like Cooney is a waste of ink. The facts are that not all the things that are dumped in the water, or pumped out of a smoke stack necessarily harm you. Would we like to see cleaner water or air? Of course. But targeting industry as the source of everyone’s illnesses is irrational. We are all going to die from something some day. The best that medicine can do is delay the inevitable. Industrial pollution turned out to be a blind alley in the scientific research, so turn your attention to a different possibility, don’t keep beating a dead horse. Activists are not deterred by facts, they prefer to form their own conclusions in a vacuum devoid of supportive research and stick to them.
Attention needs to be devoted to the real cause of Scleroderma and it’s treatment without being distracted by unqualified, non scientific opinions of wanna be politicians.

2/8/2010 1:18 PM EST

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Tobeycup wrote:

Miss Irons, You should stop hanging out with community activists/advocates. Mary Cooney doesn’t seem happy with anyone. She recently opposed a new start up business bringing jobs, tax revenue and a much needed service to South Boston. She complains about pollution, smokestacks, chemicals and fumes from overhead planes in the above article. BUT yet she opposes furry faced and wagging tail clients of a dog kennel. It is a proven medical fact that pets promote a healthy life and and contribute towards a positive attitude. Maybe we should get Mary a dog… that might make her happy!!!

2/8/2010 1:44 PM EST

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  1. Filter device – US Patent 3953181 Description

Patent Description: Air pollution has become one of the most serious public health problems in the world. U.S. patents available from 1976 to present. Another object of this invention is to provide a smoke-stack filter device

  1. Utilization of high sulphur fuels without air pollution – US

U.S. patents available from 1976 to present. Smokestack 6 is provided at thebase thereof with floodlights 7. from passing upwardly into the atmosphere by means of the filter 12 while the gaseous oxygen passes through the filter.

Show more results from www.patentstorm.us

  1. A Smokestack in Poland Emits Odor of Indecision – NYTimes.com

Feb 1, 1988 Sulfur pollution has been a particular problem because coal burned in has not completed a water treatment plant that was begun in 1976.

  1. Combined air and water pollution control system – Patent 4959084

by BC Wolverton – 1990 – Cited by 11Related articlesAll 4 versions
A bioaquatic air pollution control system for controlling both water and flue gas and passing treated constituents into greenhouse, December, 1976, Brais, 47/17 …. A pollution control system as set forth in claim 7 wherein said filter …. 2, illustrating some of the aspirators extending from the smoke stack

  1. Estimating air quality impacts – Elsevier

by L Ortolano – 1985 – Cited by 2Related articles
A smokestack is a typical point source, and a highway is a common line source. ….. Chambers, L. A. 1976. Classification and Extent of Air Pollution

  1. 86.06.04: Where, Oh Where is All the Clean Air?

Have the students bring in some dirty furnace filters in order to demonstrate the Air pollution can kill. ( ), ( ). 9. When the plume from a smokestack is white, ….. Urban Health in America, Amasa B. Ford, Oxford Press 1976.

  1. Environmental lead exposure in a population of children in

installation of smokestack filters). The plants released …… Van Overschelde J. 1976. Impact of air pollution by lead on the heme biosynthetic pathway in

  1. [PDF]

Cities in the Developing World: Agenda for Action Following

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
by P ANNEZ – 1996 – Cited by 8Related articlesAll 6 versions
Dec 13, 1996 tions in particulate air pollution can be smokestack air filters and dust collectors, …. ing a 1976–85 program of slum betterment.

  1. The Environmental Failures of Central Planning

by LK Hubbell – 1994 – Cited by 2Related articles
sumption goods and smokestack filters to abate the air pollution generated in production. ….. Taga, L. S. 1976. Externalities in a command society.

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Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Where, Oh Where is All the Clean Air?

Theodore Parker Sr.

Contents of Curriculum Unit 86.06.04:

To Guide Entry


Air, like water is essential for life. Air pollution, like water pollution is a problem that threatens us all. We are all aware that air and water are the most precious of all our natural resources. We need clean air and accessible water to carry on normal life functions. In past generations, the amounts of fuels burned in home and industry have greatly increased. This increased burning has also increased the amount of impurities discharged into the air. And since a pollutant is an impurity, we cannot have clean air as long as it is being bombarded with impurities.

History of Air Pollution

Since man discovered how to use fire, he has continuously polluted the atmosphere. The process of combustion or burning provides us with power, but in using this process we pour much waste material into the atmosphere.

a) ancient Romans complained of odor and soot deposits on clothing and crops due to coal burning, wood burning and oil lamp usage.

b) during the middle ages and the colonial period, similar complaints of odors and soot deposits were registered as a result of burning of fuels.

c) the onset of the lndustrial Revolution produced an increase in the number of cities, homes and factories causing an increase in the amounts of fuels burned to run the factories and heat the homes.

Only recently, has air pollution been considered a serious threat to our biophysical environment. This threat has two main causes: 1) the rapid growth of our population 2) the expansion of our technological activities. This same growth has created new waste products harmful to health, detrimental to the growth of living things, negatively aesthetic and expensive in terms of the economy.

Behavioral Objectives

Skills and Abilities

1) to become familiar with the history and facts of pollution and pollutants in our atmosphere.

2) to begin to understand the problems of air pollution and how they affect our environment.

3) to understand through inquiries, investigations and activities the effects of air pollution on living things.

4) to develop suggestions for possible methods of addressing the problems arising from air pollution.

Attitudes and Appreciations

1) to recognize that each person has an affect on the environment.

2) to reach a better understanding of the immediate and long-range dangers of air pollution.

3) to understand that air pollution is a problem that threatens the entire world community.

4) to understand that air is our most important resource and clean air is necessary to maintain a high quality of life.

5) to recognize that modern technology incorporates processes which replace clean, useable air with polluted, potentially harmful air.

Questions to be answered

Why is clean air important?

How did the air become polluted?

What is air pollution?

How does air pollution affect animal life?

How does air pollution affect human beings?

How are the effects of air pollution on human beings studied? How does air pollution affect land-based organisms and aquatic life? What methods are being used for controlling air pollution?

What are some economic considerations for the control of air pollution?

Meteorology of Air Pollution (causes and dispersal; effects on living things)

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is substance in our atmosphere consisting of man-made contaminants that may be harmful to humans, plants, animal life or property. Air pollution consists of gaseous material which makes up more than 90% of the total of air pollution. Air pollution consists of suspended particulates which make up less than 10% of the total of air pollution.

Gaseous Material: Sources and Effects

Carbon Monoxide CO—( over 50% of total of U.S. air pollution) colorless, odorless, tasteless.


1) automobile engines account for 50% of world total (three pounds of CO released for each gallon of gasoline burned)

2) Industry 20%

3) Incomplete fossil fuel combustion


1) Low concentrations cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and contributes to driver fatigue.

2) 10 parts per million—illness reaction time slowed

3) 50 parts per million—eight hour exposure reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood by 15%.

4) 120 parts per million—one hour exposure can affect driver responses noticeably. (rush hour concentrations often exceed 300 parts per million)

5) 1,300 parts per million—fatal in thirty minutes.

6) persons with heart disease, anemia or respiratory disease are most sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide.

7) contributes to photochemical smog.

Hydrocarbons—a class of compounds containing carbon and hydrogen in various combinations. Found mainly in oil, natural gas and coal.


1) automobiles and other motor driven sources—55% (over 200 different kinds of hydrocarbons are found in auto exhaust)

____2) bacterial decomposition*

____3) forest fires*

____4) combustion processes*

* % variable


1) many hydrocarbons are cancer producing (carcinogenic).

2) detrimental to balance of the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

3) contributes to photochemical smog.

Nitrogen Oxides—reddish brown gas with a characteristic odor.


1) internal combustion engines—39%

2) residential and commercial burning—47%

3) natural processes—14%


1) nitrous oxide, like carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

2) nitrogen dioxide can be fatal in high concentrations.

3) increased respiratory infections in children (mainly bronchitis).

4) nitrogen dioxide and water combine to form nitric acid

5) the oxides of nitrogen combine with water on mucous membranes to form mild acid solutions. This leads to irritation of the eyes, nose, bronchial tubes and lungs.

Sulfur Dioxide—SO2 a heavy , pungent, colorless gas.


1) burning of coal and oil as well as other industrial processes.

2) natural decay and volcanic eruptions.

3) smelting and petroleum refining.


1) pulmonary damage

2) irritation to eyes, nose and throat.

3) kills plant life (damages leaves and stems)

4) can injure the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs and the delicate tissues of the lungs themselves.

5) affects the PH balance of water.

6) forms sulfuric acid with water. This acid attacks metal, concrete, granite and other structural materials.

Suspended Particulates: Sources and Effects

Particulates—solid or liquid matter, including dust, smoke fumes, fly ash, mists and sprays.


1) incinerators and fossil fuel burning plants, especially coal burning operations.

2) industrial processes.

3) automobile exhaust.


1) disturbs the normal cleansing action of the lungs.

2) particles often carry or contain materials that have direct toxic effects on humans (particles often contain bacteria, viruses, sulfuric and nitric acids).

3) particles suspended in the air scatter and absorb sunlight, produce haze, reduce visibility and reduce solar energy reaching earth.

Photochemical Smog

Sources:  Photochemical smog is secondary air pollutant produced by the chemical reaction due to the combining of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates. The smog making process begins when the sun’s ultra-violet rays trigger a photochemical reaction between hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, forming a number of secondary pollutants or smog products such as ozone, aldehydes and peroxy-acynitrate (PAN).


1) ozone can cause coughing, choking, headaches and severe fatigue.

2) ozone can damage the leaves of plants.

3) PAN causes eye irritation and damages the leaves of plants.

4) aldehydes, with their suffocating, pungent odor, cause severe respiratory irritation.

5) photochemical smog with its brownish haze causes discomfort and decreases visibility.

Lead Aerosol

Sources:  tetra-ethyl lead is the anti-knock compound in leaded gasolines that is responsible for 95% of the lead aerosol in the air.


1) exposure to high levels of lead aerosols causes scarring and shrinking of kidney and liver tissue.

2) over-exposure to lead can result in peripheral nerve system damage affecting primarily motor nerves.

Major Diseases Related To Air Pollution

Asthma—An attack consists of the narrowing of the bronchioles, which is caused by a muscle spasm, an enlargement of the mucous membrane and by abundant mucous secretions. Asthma can be caused by allergins of natural origin such as pollen as well as manmade pollutants.

Bronchitis and Emphysema—These two diseases are discussed together because they either occur simultaneously or emphysema may be the follow-up to bronchitis. In emphysema, the victim’s air sacs or alveoli become enlarged and eventually break down or burst. Both bronchitis and emphysema induce shortness of breath in victims. In advanced cases victims are unable to blow out a lighted match only a few inches away from their mouths.

Lung Cancer—Cancer is produced by uncontrolled cell growth. Lung cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells which usually originates in the bronchial mucous membranes. A multitude of carcinogenic substances are known . The best known are the hydrocarbons which are present in the air in cities and industrial areas.

Impacts of Air Pollution

In all the major acute air pollution incidences recorded, effects on animals, primarily zoo or domestic animals have been reported. Dogs seem to exhibit the same symptoms of respiratory disease as do humans. The major contaminants such as the oxides and fluorides are known to be highly toxic to animals. Animals appear to be tougher than man When exposed to air borne contaminants, but there is evidence of the deterioration of livestock When exposed to photochemical smog. Studies conducted in large urban zoos demonstrate that wolves and lions developed a susceptibility to lung cancer. Fluorides have been attributed to crippling skeletal defects in cattle. Numerous instances of fluoride poisoning of livestock have been not only reported, but documented.

Impacts On Aquatic Life

Water is considered polluted if it is not suitable for its intended utilization such as agricultural and industrial uses, recreation, propagation of fish and wildlife and domestic water supply. The natural purification process utilizes oxygen in the decomposing or breaking down of natural contaminants. Excessive amounts of organic matter will cause a decomposition process which will be absent of oxygen. This anaerobic (absence of oxygen) decomposition produces hydrogen sulfide, an offensive smelling gas.

There are generally eight categories of pollutants that can affect the aquatic life of a community. They are heat, sediments, radioactive substances, synthetic organic chemicals, plant nutrients, sewage and disease causing organisms and inorganic substances. Heat can reduce the capacity of water to absorb oxygen. Increased water temperature, caused by the introduction of water from a power generating plant or other industries can upset the ecological balance. When heated water is returned to a stream, it can raise the temperature of the cooler water a few degrees. This slight temperature change is enough to be lethal to many forms of aquatic life accustomed to a specific temperature range. Increasing water temperature also makes aquatic plants and animals grow at a faster rate. It also speeds up the use of food, rate of gas exchange and heartbeat in animals. The organisms grow faster, but do not grow as large or live as long as normally in cooler water. Many aquatic animals will not reproduce if the temperature is raised even a few degrees. Studies show that water temperature above 30°C decreases the number of diatoms and increases the number of blue-green algae. Besides the blue-green algae producing an unpleasant odor and unpleasant taste, they seem not to be a good source of food for algae-eating organisms. This type of pollution; dumping hot water into streams, lakes or rivers is called THERMAL POLLUTION.

EXCESSIVE SEDIMENT will reduce the amount of sunlight penetrating the water and will affect the photosynthesis process of green aquatic plants. These plants are necessary for oxygen production which will maintain a normal balance in the water. Many of these green plants are a necessary food source for the animal life found in the water body.

RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES can accumulate in living organisms, aquatic life as well as in humans when the exposure is sufficiently severe.

SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CHEMICALS include such things as detergents and cleansing agents used in the home, synthetic organic pesticides and the residue from synthetic chemicals utilized in industrial processes. These chemicals are extremely toxic to fish and other forms of aquatic life as well as causing serious taste and odor problems.

INORGANIC SUBSTANCES include a wide variety of acids, metal salts, solId matter and various other chemical compounds. Among these materials are ammonia, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, iron, lead, manganese, nitrates, nitrites, phosphorus, selenium, silver, sulfates and zinc. Pollution by these substances is a result of oil field activities, mining processes, manufacturing processes and agriculture.

Impacts On Plant Life

Plants are the means by which the sun’s energy can serve all animals, especially man. The plants maintain the oxygen content of the air and provide the basic habitat and food for man and animals. In any ecosystem, the plants, animals and microorganisms exist in a state of interaction and coexistence. This interaction is subject to physical and chemical inputs as well as climate. Plant life is much more sensitive to air pollution than animal life. And many times plants are used to gather new data about air contaminants because of this sensitivity. Among the pollutants that can harm plants are sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and ethylene. Some plant damage is caused by the contaminants in photochemical smog as well as by ozone.

Air pollution determines where certain types of vegetable crops can be raised. Every urban area in the United States experiences vegetative damages from air pollution, especially the farming industry in New Jersey, California and parts of Florida. Substances generated by combustion often react with sunlight and moisture to form the oxidant called PAN, which has been identified as the cause of death of plants and trees along California highways. PAN is extremely toxic to many forms of farm produce. Damage to vegetation as a result of air contaminants is so severe that commercial and non-commercial production of crops and forests in many areas has been jeopardized and in some areas discontinued.

Methods of Controlling Air Pollution vs Economic Considerations

The principal reason for controlling pollution is to protect human health and the ecological balance of man’s life-support systems. Innumerable other benefits can result from clean-up measures, i.e., financial savings, more efficient productivity and aesthetic effect. All arguments against pollution controls are reduced to the money factor. WE CANNOT AFFORD CLEAN AIR; IT COSTS TOO MUCH. Electric utility spokespersons maintain that the cost of adequate filtration of smokestacks is too high. They claim the public won’t stand for the additional cost of electricity. Yet this same public pays regular increases of its utilities bills, for whatever reasons. The auto makers argue that the car-buying public won’t accept the cost of too many emission control devices on new car prices. Yet, the consumer pays time and time again for yearly model changes and frivolous gadgets like hidden headlights, vinyl tops and recessed windshield wipers. We all pay for air pollution. We pay in human life and the destruction of all other life on the earth. Even though we know that air pollution shortens the life span of every living thing that requires air to breathe, these facts seem to have little impact as compared to the money cost factor. For example, life insurance companies have statistics comparing the life expectancies of urban and rural dwellers. The individual who lives and works away from urban centers has a longer life expectancy. One primary reason being the urban dweller s poorer quality of air. The total cost to the nation is billions and billions of dollars.

Steps Toward Control

We find many different kinds of processes being studied, experimented with or employed in attempts to clean up air pollution caused by industry, power generating plants, space heating and refuse disposal activities. The four major types of control devices are filter bag systems, cyclone treatment, electrostatic precipitators and scrubber systems. Other processes are being studied and tested for the removal of sulfur oxides from smokestack emissions. Tall smokestacks do not reduce the emission of pollutants, but they do reduce the concentration of pollutants at ground level. During the 1960’s, the average height of smokestacks for power generating plants was about 240 feet. Today, the average height of these stacks is well over 600 feet with many as high as 1,000 feet or more. Still, this sort of measure, at the most, can only be considered as a sort of interim step or partial solution.

Some cities, like Los Angeles, have banned all backyard incinerators and have laws that require apartment house incinerators to include wet scrubbers on their smokestacks for reduction of particulate emission. Many big cities still dispose of garbage by burning it in huge incinerators. Incinerators can be built that will completely burn the garbage and emit little, if any, contaminants into the air. However, most cities lack such units.


Many considerations must be investigated and implemented if quality air is to become a reality again. Among these considerations are the following:

1) more research and development should be undertaken for alternative processes that are non-polluting.

2) development of new pollution control equipment and technological information for industrial emissions should be encouraged and supported.

3) low cost pollution control equipment should be developed for small industries.

4) research and development on new methods of removing sulfur oxides from smokestacks should be undertaken and/or increased.

5) continued study of the use of alternative fuels that will reduce emissions should be encouraged, while modifying existing power plants whenever feasible.

6) new effective and more efficient combustion processes with minimal pollutant emissions should be promoted.

7) research and development of energy sources such as hot water, hot air, solar power or steam for space heating needs.


All of the major cities of the United States and most of the major cities worldwide have serious air quality problems. The air pollution problem arises from rapidly increasing auto,truck and bus traffic as well as burgeoning industrial development. many valleys, small towns and suburban communities are made vulnerable to such pollution because of natural air inversion. There is abundant evidence that the levels of air pollution in these major cities present serious health problems as evidenced by the increasing rates of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory disorders in city dwellers and from experimental data on laboratory animals exposed to ambient air pollution.


Solar and geothermal energy are being studied and experimented with as non-polluting energy sources for the future because it has become apparent that attaching soot precipitators to industrial chimneys or exhaust converters to gasoline engines is not enough. Researchers must think in terms of new kinds of fuels, new methods of producing energy and possibly a system of rationing the use of energy and natural resources. Industrial giants geared to petroleum production, the manufacture of automobiles and the building of highways offer tremendous resistance to such changes. They persist in wasteful practices.

Activities For Classroom Discussion

1) Distribute copies of The Parable of Malengo. Read the parable aloud with the students having each student, having each student read a paragraph. This activity can serve as an introduction to the subject of air pollution. Introductory activity I.

2) Introductory Activity II. Magazine pictures showing temperature inversions, smog, smokestacks belching smoke, cars jamming highways emitting toxic gases, etc., may be posted on a bulletin board or distributed after reading and discussing The Parable of Malengo.

3) Sample Dust Particles and Particulate Matter. Cover microscope slides with a thin layer of vaseline, which will act as a non-drying adhesive. Place the slides in different locations around the room; near air vents, on the window sills, on the floor, suspended from the ceiling at graduated heights. Make charts as to the areas of greatest concentration of dust and other particular matter. Place sheets of white paper under each slide for better viewing.

4) Monitor Smokestacks. Have the students bring in kite from home. Attach to each kite a strip of paper or gauze covered lightly with vaseline. Find a major source of pollution such as a smokestack of an industrial plant, school, apartment or hospital. Instruct the students to fly their kites nearby. Each student should be assigned a specific spot from which to fly his kite. Students should fly their kites at different heights and at different distances from the source of pollution. Amounts of pollution should be determined and compared from spot to spot. This will enable students to learn whether or not weight of particulates has any bearing on distribution.

5) Monitor Home Furnaces. Have the students bring in some dirty furnace filters in order to demonstrate the presence of dust and particulates found in the air of the home. Instruct the students to prepare glass slides covered with vaseline. Shake the filters over the slides. Under the hand lens or microscope, have the students classify particulates according to size, shape and color.

6) Study Pollution From Coal Combustion. This activity can be done using a piece of soft coal, a piece of hard coal, or both. Have the students pulverize the coal to facilitate burning. Hold a vaseline coated slide over the burning coal. The coated slide will be able to pick up any particles emitted by the combustion. This is an excellent activity to illustrate the fact that combustion is the basic source of pollution.

7) Show Damage to Plants. Certain particulate matter can clog up the openings or stomata of leaves of green plants. This clogging will impair or restrain water vapor and other gases from moving in and out of the leaf, particularly carbon dioxide and oxygen. Use vaseline to coat some of the leaves in order to demonstrate the clogging of the leaf pores. Coat both the topside and the underside of the leaf with vaseline. Have the students compare the coated leaves with the uncoated leaves of the same plant over a period of time. A variation of this activity would be to coat all the leaves of a plant and then compare it to a similar plant with uncoated leaves over a period of time.

8) Study The Effects of Sulfur Dioxide On Plants. Using one plant per student, have half the group place their plants in plastic bags, one plant per bag. Have the other half of the group place their plants on a shelf or ledge in the room. Measure out 2 grams of sodium sulfite for each plant placed in the plastic bags. Put the sodium sulfite into a small container. Then place the container in the bag with the plant. One container per bag. The sulfur dioxide can now be made by adding some sulfuric acid to the sodium sulfite. CAUTION: THESE TWO CHEMICALS SHOULD BE MIXED ONLY ON A CLOSED CONTAINER. DO NOT BREATHE THE SULFUR DIOXIDE FUMES.

________After the acid is added, Quickly seal the bag with tape or a wire tie. Use the non-bagged plants to control the experiment. Observe and record the appearance of each plant for two or three days. Exchange data with students who used the same types of plants. Then Compare data with students who used different types of plants. Compare differences in plants with thick, waxy leaves and those with long, thin leaves. Compare young plants with older plants. Record and discuss differences.

9) Study The Pollutants We Inhale. Have students construct a mini-lung model to determine the types and amounts of pollutants inhaled from our immediate surroundings. To construct a minilung model, students will each require the following materials:. one empty half-gallon carton, vaseline, one single edge blade, a medium-sized nail, two plastic soda straws, two small balloons (1-1 1/2 in. diam.), string, plastic wrap, contact cement. To construct the model, open the spout end of the carton wide so as to allow for working inside. Cut a window in one side of the carton (3”x3”). Using the nail, punch two holes side-by-side in the bottom of the carton and push a soda straw through each hole. Working through the window and/or the open end of the carton tie a balloon around the end of each straw. Be sure to coat the in- side of each balloon lightly with vaseline. This can be done-by turning the balloon inside out to coat it then reverse it to place it on the end of the straw. Adjust the straws so the balloons appear in the window. Glue plastic wrap over the window and reinforce with masking tape. Glue the spout end closed and reinforce with masking tape also. For additional sealing to insure an airtight unit, put glue around the holes in the carton where the straws protrude. Allow the mini-lung to dry thoroughly. To operate, squeeze the sides in. The balloons deflate with pressure and inflate when released. Have students activate their models in the classroom, in the hallways and in the teacher’s lounge, if there is smoking allowed in the lounge. After activating the model at various sites, have the students remove the balloons. After removing the balloons, have the students cut them open and examine the inner walls of the balloons with a hand lens or under the microscope to determine the types, size and amounts of particulates that would be inhaled by them during an average school day.

Air Pollution Pre-Test


True False
1. Air pollution is harmful only in cities. ( ) ( )
2. Air pollution is worse in big cities than small ones. ( ) ( )
3. Nationwide, automobiles are the major source of air pollution. ( ) ( )
4. Smog is a problem only in Los Angeles. ( ) ( )
5. Inversions—in which air at ground level is trapped by warmer air above—come from air pollution. ( ) ( )
6. Chronic respiratory diseases are aggravated by air pollution. ( ) ( )
7. Air pollution affects only the respiratory system. ( ) ( )
8. Air pollution can kill. ( ) ( )
9. When the plume from a smokestack is white, no pollution is coming out. ( ) ( )
10. Air pollution is expensive. ( ) ( )

Answers and Comments To Air Pollution Pre-Test

False True
(X) ( ) 1. The air carries pollution far beyond the city. So do automobiles and out-of-city factories.
( ) (X) 2. Although special circumstances cause exceptions, pollution generally increases with population.
( ) (X) 3. Industry, power plants, space heating, and refuse disposal follow far behind, in that order.
(X ) ( ) 4. Los Angeles-type smog forms in many places— wherever automobile exhaust is acted upon by sunlight.
(X ) ( ) 5. Inversions occur naturally. They do keep pollution from being dispersed, however.
( ) (X) 6. Studies indicate that pollution worsens these diseases and brings more deaths from them.
(X ) ( ) 7. Among other things, air pollution can aggravate existing heart conditions.
( ) (X) 8. In a number of famous long-lasting inversions, pollution brought death to many people.
(X ) ( ) 9. Many polluting gases are colorless and many polluting particles are white.
( ) (X) 10. The government estimates that air pollution damage to animals, crops, paper, cloth, rubber, leather, and stone costs each man, woman, and child in the U.S. $65 a year. That’s a lot to pay for something you don’t even want, isn’t it?

The Air we Breathe: A Parable

(Use this parable as an introduction to the subject of air pollution.)

Once there was a beautiful little country named Malengo. On one side of Malengo, the sea spread out, providing white sandy beaches for children to run on and white-capped blue waves for children to laugh in and a wide expanse of ever-moving blue that quieted restlessness.

On the other side of Malengo, the mountains reached the sky. Their blue sides stood tall, capped by snow hats so beautiful that women copies them, making white knit hats for the children.

Malengo was a country of farmers, and the farms spread out in the valley and along the foothills, making beautiful checkered patterns of brown and yellow and green. Every farmhouse was surrounded by trees—shade trees and flowering trees and fruit trees of every kind. In between the fields and along the roads, more trees grew.

And the flowers, such beautiful flowers you have never seen. Dainty wild flowers strewed themselves

“But other people do. You could sell them to other countries and get rich.’’

“Get rich? What is rich? Why should we get it’’

The man snorted again. “You are clods,’’ he said. “Dull, backward clods. I’ll not waste any more time in such a backward country.’’ He rode off through the mountains and was never seen again.

But people were no longer happy. “We need factories. We need cities,’’ they said to each other. “We need to get rich, whatever that is.’’ So they sent a delegation through the mountains to their neighboring country to find out about cities and factories and getting rich. The delegation brought back experts, who immediately started bossing.

The experts took the farmers from their fields and se them to work building a city along the beach. House after house was built, then factory after factory. Then the experts made everyone move into the city. The children cried, for there were no trees to climb in the city. The women cried, for there were no flowers in the city. The men even cried, for they could no longer work their own fields and watch their own crops grow.

But the experts reassured them. “You will like the city. You can work in the factories. You can plant new trees and new flowers.’’ And so they did, but there weren’t as many trees and flowers.

The experts divided up the work. Some men still farmed, but now they farmed much more land. At the bidding of the experts, they cut down trees to make bigger fields to grow more crops.

The trees were used in the factories and homes for heat and energy, and black smoke began to fill the sky. The factories started turning out shoes by the thousands, and dumping leftover leather and chemicals into a river that flowed to the sea.

Other factories started making clothes, and the air soon had a perpetually sour smell.

Delegations of salesmen took the shoes and clothes through the mountains and sold them. They brought back automobiles, which were then the newest fad in the neighboring country.

Soon every family had an automobile. And every Sunday, every family got in its automobile and rove, bumper to bumper, up into the mountains over a new road the experts had said they needed, in order to get some fresh air.

Soon the trees were all gone and there was no wood to burn. “We need coal,’’ said the experts, and they began looking for coal. They found it in the foothills. They brought in huge machines that tore up the earth and took out the coal. They took the coal in the city, and as it burned in all the factories and homes, the air got blacker and blacker.

“Let’s start using electricity,’’ said the experts. So a power plant was built and power lines were stretched everywhere in the city. And air got blacker and blacker.

“Let’s build our own automobiles,’’ said the experts. So another factory was built. And the air got blacker and blacker across the shady places, and bold wild flowers captured the sunny meadows. And the people were happy, very happy, in their beautiful little country.

But one day, a stranger came to Malengo. He wore a fancy vest and a high top hat, and he rode a prancing steed.

“What a dull, backward country you have,’’ he mocked. “All you do is farm. Where are your cities and factories? Don’t you make anything?’’

“We make our own clothes and our shoes. We make butter and cheese. We make delectable pies and cakes and soups. We make our own houses.’’

“No, no! That’s not what I mean. Don’t you make buggies to go riding in?’’

“Why should we?’’ We have good strong legs. We can walk.’’

He merely snorted. “In a factory you could make hundreds of shoes in a day, or hundreds of dresses, or 50 buggies.’’

“Why should we? Everyone already has shoes and clothes, and we don’t need buggies.’’

Some days, the wind blew in from the sea, instead of out to the sea. On those days, the black air just hung over the city. People coughed and their eyes watered, but no one paid any attention.

People began coming in from the neighboring country, because Malengo was now such a prosperous country. They brought more automobiles. They built more houses and more factories.

So many people came that all the farmland was bought so people could build houses and factories on it. Now the people of Malengo had to buy all their food from the neighboring country. Food became very expensive. The air got blacker and blacker. But no one paid any attention.

Then, for three weeks straight, the wind blew in from the sea. The black air hung over the city. People wheezed and coughed, and their eyes watered. The black air got thick with grime. Dogs began to die. Old people died , too, and sick people. No one knew why. No one tried to find out why.

Finally, the wind shifted. The black air blew away. Everyone breathed deeply and smiled. A few more old people died, and a few more sick people. But no one paid any attention.

More houses were built, and more factories. The power plant had to expand. Trains were built to cross the mountains, and they made the journey many times a day. Then an airport was built and jets began flying in and out.

Again, the wind blew in from the sea, this time for 48 days. The people coughed and wheezed, and their eyes watered. Dogs died. Old people died, and sick people. Then the children began to die. But no one knew why. The black air hung like a pall, poisoning everything. Trees and flowers died, even weeds, and finally everyone died, every single person in Malengo.

Then the wind changed, blowing the black death away. But now people were afraid to go to Malengo. No one even went in to bury the dead. And so the country sat there, silent. The factories had stopped. The homes were silent. Nothing moved.

In the silence, the thick, thick silence, thing began to grow—grass and weeds and tree seeds. Once more dainty wild flowers strewed themselves across the shady places and bold wild flowers captured the sunny places. Threes burst up through cracks in the concrete. Vines began growing up walls. Bodies decayed and enriched the earth. Rabbits came, and birds, and many other animals. But still, people were afraid to go to Malengo. They didn’t know why the black death had come or when it would come again. To them Malengo was a cursed place, a place of mystery and doom, a monument of death.

* * *

It could happen, you know. Part of it has already happened. Old people and sick people have died. Dogs and cats have died. So have flowers. Someday, all of us could die. The only difference is, we know what causes the black smoke. But, do we care?

Average air pollution levels

State City Micrograms of Micrograms of
particles/cubic sulfur dioxide
metre of air cubic metre of air
Alabama Montgomery 61 5
Arizona Phoenix 135 10
California Los Angeles 133 14
San Francisco 52 8
Colorado Denver 152 28
Connecticut New Haven 89 40
Florida Miami 68 5
St. Petersburg 43 16
Georgia Atlanta 79 22
Savannah 65 7
Hawaii Honolulu 41 12
Illinois Chicago 144 73
Indiana Evansville 70 19
Indianapolis 86 11
Iowa Des Moines 95 7
Kansas Kansas City 133 8
Wichita 76 7
Kentucky Covington 90 19
Louisiana Baton Rouge 68 10
Massachusetts Worcester 138 45
Michigan Detroit 121 12
Minnesota Minneapolis 61 23
Missouri St. Louis 109 28
Nebraska Omaha 112 13
New Mexico Albuquerque 90 5
New York Rochester 82 22
North Carolina Winston-Salem 115 12
Ohio Akron 104 31
Oklahoma Tulsa 52 5
Pennsylvania Philadelphia 115 54
Scranton 211 30
York 92 12
Tennessee Memphis 89 7
Texas Forth Worth 73 5
Pasadena 83 5
Virginia Norfolk 75 30
Washington Seattle 58 24
West Virginia Charlestown 130 7
Wisconsin Madison 64 12

*Microgram is one-millionth of a gram.


What is the New Index?

It’s a report of the level of certain air pollutants (in winter, average levels of sulfur oxides and particulates; in summer, particulares and peak levels of oxidants) measured during the preceding 24 hours, plus an air pollution “forecast’’ for the following day. The index was developed by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in cooperation with the state’s news media and the Christmas Seal/Lung Association to provide a uniform method for reporting air pollution levels.

How Do Your Read the New Index?

The index is based on the Federal Health Standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It reports micrograms of pollution per cubic meter of air in four stages:

(figure available in print form)

What to do if heavy air pollution is forecast

If there’s danger of an air pollution episode, the following precautions ar recommended:

1. Curtail physical activity, both indoors and outdoors. (The most active you are, the more breaths you take—and the more pollutants you breathe in.)
2. Stay indoors as much as possible and keep windows closed. (Pollution levels are usually lower indoors than out. And buildings themselves act as filters of sorts, blocking or absorbing some pollutants.)
3. Avoid smoke filled rooms. If you are a smoker, stop or cut down smoking.
4. Don’t use your fireplace.
5. Don’t use your incinerator.
6. Don’t drive if possible. If you must travel, use a public transportation. If you must drive, form car pools, avoid busy streets and expressways. If you have a choice, take a bridge instead of a tunnel. If you must use a tunnel, keep car windows and ventilator closed.
7. If you’re on the street and a bus or truck emits a cloud of exhaust, hold your breath.
8. Do not wear contact lens.
9. In the winter months, use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to your home. (Moisture helps you breathe easier:)

10. Cut down on water use. (Electricity is needed to pump water and sewage systems, and to run sewage treatment plants.)

11. Cut down on use of electricity. Keep nonessential lights off. Postpone running washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, other non-essential appliances.

12. Lower room temperature in your home if health considerations permit.

13. Postpone indoor cleaning jobs that circulate dust, such as sweeping, vacuuming.

14. Postpone outdoor jobs that raise dust, such as raking leaves, sweeping sidewalks, excavating land, etc.

15. Don’t use the phone unless it’s essential. (Telephone circuits can be overburdened in emergencies.)

Special precautions

(For the elderly, chronically ill, heart and lung patients, bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema sufferers, post-operative patients, and newborn infants)

Stay indoors, keep windows closed, and follow the other appropriate suggestions listed above. In addition:

1. If you have an air filtering system or air conditioner, turn it on.

2. If you’re, on medication, take it at the first sign of worsening symptoms and call your physician.


(figure available in print form)


A thermal pollution index

Temperature, °C Water conditions
21 Normal river temperature. Water is clear. Many kinds of fish, other animals, and plants thrive.
24 No obvious change in water quality or organisms living in it.
26 Almost no fish can reproduce.
26.5 Many desirable kinds of fish, such as trout, have been killed.
29 No swimming is allowed.
32 Most kinds of game fish and most animals that live on the river bottom have been killed.
33.5 Only carp and catfish survive.
35 Unpleasant odors and tastes produced by increasing numbers of blue-green algae. Water not fit for drinking.
40.5 Water can no longer be used by industry for cooling, unless it is first cooled.
43 The river is dead, except for some algae, bacteria and molds.


A. You can reduce auto air pollution:

1. Walk when you can. Use busses and trains. Shop with others. Join a car pool. Ride a bike.

2. Buy gasoline with the least amount of lead and the lowest octane level that your car can take.

3. See that the pollution controls on your car are doing their job. Give your engine regular tune-ups.

4. Switch off the motor when you park, even if it is only for a few minutes.

5. Work with others for a good public transit system so you won’t need your car so much. Work for the development of cars that won’t pollute.

B. You can reduce power plant pollution:

1. Turn off the lights, radio, and TV when not using them.

2. Run your dishwasher only when it is full.

3. Use the air conditioner only when someone is home and only when it is very hot.

4. Dry your clothes outside when possible, instead of using the clothes dryer.

5. Work for adequate air pollution control equipment on polluting power plants.

C. You can reduce air pollution caused by burning:

1. Don’t burn leaves or trash.

2. Buy unpacked food and liquids in returnable containers whenever possible.

3. If you live in an apartment house with an incinerator, observe regulations for its use and see that it is pollution-controlled.

4. Reuse and recycle whatever you can.

5.Work for the installation of modern municipal incinerators that can produce heat and electricity instead of pollution.

6. Conserve irreplaceable fuel and help clean the air by keeping windows closed when the heat is on. Set the thermostat at 68 or 70 and wear a sweater if you are chilly. Turn down the heat at night or when you are away for more than a few hours.

7. Work for pollution controlled central heating when possible.


AEROSOL: a dispersion of solid or liquid particles of microscopic size in gaseous media, such as smoke, fog or mist.

AIR: a colorless odorless, tasteless gaseous mixture; mainly nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) with lesser amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium and other gases.

AIR MONITORING: the sampling for and measuring of pollutants present in the ambient air.

AIR POLLUTION: the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more man-made contaminants in quantities characteristics, and of duration such as to be injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.

AIR QUALITY CRITERIA: data showing the range of effects that may be associated with exposure to various concentrations of pollutants in the air for various time periods.

AIR QUALITY STANDARD: air quality goals established for the purpose of protecting public health and welfare.

AMBIENT AIR: the air around you.

AREA SOURCE: small diffused individual pollutant sources such as automobiles, homes or commercial heating units, small home incinerators.

ATMOSPHERE: the envelope of air surrounding the earth.

CARBON DIOXIDE: a colorless, odorless, incombustible gas formed during respiration, combustion and organic decomposition.

CARBON MONOXIDE: a colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon or any carbonaceous material.

CARCINOGENIC: cancer producing.

CHRONIC: having a long duration or frequent occurrence.

COH: abbreviation for coefficient of haze; unit of measurement of soiling index.

COMBUSTION: burning; a chemical change accompanied by the production of heat and light; one of the three basic contributing processes of air pollution.

COMMUNITY AIR: the air representative of an entire community.

DUST: solid particles capable of temporary suspension in the air or other gases; usually derived from larger masses through the application of physical force.

ECOLOGY: the science of the relationships between organisms and their environment.

EFFLUENT: a discharge or emission of a liquid or gas.

EMISSION FACTOR:an average of the rate at which pollutants are emitted from a given source.

EMISSION INVENTORY: a compilation of the estimates of emissions from all sources in a community.

EMISSION STANDARD: the maximum amount of a pollutant that is permitted to be discharged from a polluting source.

ENVIRONMENT: the combination of all the external conditions and influences affecting the life, development, and the survival of an organism.

EPIDEMIOLOGY: the study of epidemics and epidemic diseases as they affect populations.

EVAPORATION: the physical transformation of a liquid to a gas at any temperature below its boiling point.

FLY ASH: finely divided particles of ash entrained in gases arising from the combination of fuel.

FOG: condensed water vapor in cloudlike masses close to the ground and limiting visibility.

FOSSIL FUEL: coal, oil and natural gas; so-called because they are the remains of ancient plant and animal life

GAS: one of the three states of matter, having neither independent shape nor volume and tending to expand indefinitely.

HYDROCARBONS: any of numerous organic compounds that contain carbon and hydrogen in various combinations.

INCINERATION: burning of waste material.

INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE: an engine in which fuel is burned within the engine proper.

INVERSION: a state in which the air temperature increases with increasing altitude, holding surface air down along with its’ pollutants.

MICRO: a prefix meaning one-millionth; abbreviated by the greek letter.

MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER: unit used to express concentration of many air pollutants; abbreviated µ/m3

MICRON: a unit of measurement equal to one-millionth of a meter; symbol µ

MIST: a mass of fine droplets of water in the atmosphere.

MIXING DEPTH: the depth in which air rises from the earth and mixes with the air above it until it meets air equal or warmer in temperature.

NITROGEN OXIDES: gases formed from nitrogen and oxygen when combustion takes place under conditions of high temperature and pressure.

ORGANIC: of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms; in chemistry, a carbon-containing compound.

OXYGEN: a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas which makes up 21% of the atmosphere by volume.

OZONE: an unstable, poisonous, oxidizing agent with a pungent, irritating odor.

PARTICULATE: a particle of solid or liquid matter.

PARTS PER MILLION: unit sometimes used to express volumetric concentration of gaseous pollutants; abbreviated ppm.

PHOTOCHEMICAL: chemical reaction initiated by sunlight.

PRIMARY STANDARD: the levels of air quality necessary, with an adequate margin of safety to protect human health.

RINGELMANN: a chart used for measuring the capacity of black smoke.

SCRUBBER: a type of control device using a liquid spray to remove solid and gaseous pollutants from an air stream.

SECONDARY STANDARD: the levels of air quality necessary to protect the public welfare from any known or anticipated adverse effects of pollutants. Public welfare is considered to include among other things vegetation and property.

SMOG: irritating haze resulting from the sun’s effect on certain pollutants in the air, notably those from automobile exhaust; also a mixture of smoke and fog.

STABILITY: a term used to describe the ability of the air to diffuse pollution vertically; stable air results in little or no vertical diffusion, causing a buildup of pollution; unstable air has much vertical diffusion of pollution and air of neutral stability has “average’’ vertical diffusion.

STACK: a smokestack; a vertical pipe or flue designed to exhaust gases and any particulate matter suspended therein.

STATIONARY SOURCE: a source of air pollution found in a fixed location such as power plants, factories, municipal incinerators, and refineries.

SULFUR OXIDES: compounds formed from sulfur and oxygen primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels.

THRESHOLD: the minimum level of a pollutant that causes an effect on human health, vegetation or property.

TURBULENCE: air movement and mixing.

VAPOR: the gaseous state of any substance which normally exists in a liquid or solid state.

VAPORIZATION: the change of a substance from the liquid to the gaseous state; one of the three basic contributing processes of air pollution.

VOLATILE: evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.

WIND: the natural, horizontal movement of air.


———. Automobile Fuels and Air Pollution: Report of the Panel on Automotive Fuels and Air Pollution. Washington D.C., Dept. of Commerce. 1971.

Bach, Wilfrid. >I>ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION. New York, McGraw-Hill. 1972.

Battan, L.J. The Unclean Sky: A Meteorologist Looks at Air Pollution Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday. 1966.

Brodine, V. Episode 104. Environment. 13(1): 2-27 (1971).

Cassell, Eric J. “The Health Effects of Air Pollution and Their Implications for Control.’’ Law and Contemporary Problems, XXXIII, pp 197-216, (Spring 1968).

Cole. L.C. Playing Russian roulette with biochemical cycles. In the Environmental Crisis, Helfrich, H.W. Jr. (ed), New Haven, Yale Press, 1970, pp. 1-14.

Craig, P., and E. Berlin. The Air of Poverty, Environment 13 (5); 2-9 (1971).

Esposito, J.C. Vanishing Air. (Ralph Nader’s Study Report on Air Pollution), Crossman Publishers, 1970.

Goldsmith, J.R. and S.A. Landow. Carbon Monoxide and human health, Science, 162: 1352-1369 (1968).

Haagen-Snit, The control of air pollution. Scientific American, 1969.

Lansford, H. The supercivilized weather and sky show. Natural History, 79(7): 92-113 (1970).

Leinwand, G. Air and Water Pollution. New York: Washington Square Press, 1969.

Newell, R.E. The global circulation of atmospheric pollutants. Scientific American, 224: 32-42 (1971).

———. The Economic of Clean Air: Report of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to Congress. Washington, D.C., Govt. Printing Office, 1971.

Waggoner, P.E. Plants and polluted air. Bioscience, 21: 455-459. (1971).

Young, G., and J.P. Blair, Our ecological crisis: Pollution, threat to man’s only home. National Geographic, 138: 737-781 (1970).


AIR, Irving and Ruth Adler, John Day Co. 1962.

The Only Earth We Have, L. Pringle, Mac Millan, 1969

Environmental Pollution, Laurent Hodges, Holt, Rinehart, Winston

Vanishing Air, Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on Air Pollution, John Esposito

You and The Environment: An Investigative Report, Gary Day, Houghton Mifflin, 1976.

Urban Health in America, Amasa B. Ford, Oxford Press 1976.

Cost of Air Pollution Damage, L.B. Barrett & T.F.Waddell, U.S. FPA

The World’s Exhaust, Vivian Sorvall, Pendulum Press


Award Winning Energy Education Activities for Elementary and High School Teachers

This 38 page booklet contains brief description of prize-winning entries in the National Science Teachers Assoc. avail: U.S. Dept. of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Mathematics in Energy, 1978. 72 pages. This packet is designed to infuse energy into junior and senior high math classes. The unit deals with a wide range of energy math including conversions, statistics, and the manipulation of energy units (BTU, watts, calories, etc). avail: U.S. Dept of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

An Energy History of the United States, 1978. 117 pages. Charts the growth of American energy use and traces the history of the major sources of energy in the United States. avail: U.S.Dept of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn.


The Roots of Urban Problem

The Air Pollution Menace

Solid Waste A New Pollutant

Air Pollution: What Is It?

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  1. Surprise! Greens praise a coal plant – Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008 | 2

Feb 10, 2008 In the distance are the four smokestacks of the infamous Reid 1968 and 1976 — with giant air filters that remove dust and ash particles from smokestack emissions. A fourth unit, built in 1983, already has one of the filters. Mike Elges, chief of the Air Pollution Control Bureau for the state

  1. Infrared gas-filter correlation instrument for in situ measurement

by WF Herget – 1976 – Cited by 11Related articlesAll 6 versions
Received 26 January 1976. dertaken to design, construct, and evaluate a gas-fil- ter correlation (GFC) instrument for ….. smoke stack, the CaF2 windows were inserted into …. troscopy,” in Analytical Methods Applied to Air Pollution

  1. air pollution: West’s Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article

air pollution ( ¦er pə′lüshən ) ( ecology ) The presence in the outdoor of smokestack scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators, and other filters.

  1. Smoke stack air washer – Patent 4168958

by EW Hartman – 1979 – Cited by 3Related articles
3972697, Air pollution control system, August, 1976, Short, Jr. 55/242 A smoke stack condenser, air washer and filter system for connection to the

  1. Energy Citations Database (ECD) – – Document #5270269

by DA Gryvnak – 1976 – Cited by 1Related articlesAll 4 versions
Dec 8, 2009 Publication Date, 1976 Jan 01. OSTI Identifier, OSTI ID: 5270269 EXHAUST GASES; AIR POLLUTION ABATEMENT; AIR POLLUTION MONITORS; AIRCRAFT; Description/Abstract, An infrared instrument using a gas-filter correlation gases in smokestack exhausts, was modified for use on the combustor.

  1. Why Negative Ions and Ozone

hydrocarbon level (pollution from industrial smokestacks, vehicle emissions, etc. In fact, the EPA advises us that indoor air pollution is the nation’s worst This allows them to remove pollutants that air filters cannot, endocrinal, and metabolic effects throughout the body (Kreuger 1976) and plays
http://www.peakpureair.com/saionsozone.htm – CachedSimilar

  1. Lockheed reports new way to cut Burbank emissions. – Free Online

with a 50-foot-high smokestack emiting some chemicals into the air. Also, the carbon filters will be changed more often than previously planned, he said. formed in 1976, is the air pollution agency responsible mainly for He wouldn’t name the company, and an AQMD AQMD Air Quality Management District
http://www.thefreelibrary.com › … › December 19, 1994 Cached

  1. [PDF]

Air Quality

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
smoke stack, is called point source because the pollution can be traced to a …. and micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3). 1976-1980. 1988-1991 air, requires the use of filters, scrubbers, and other methods that help remove


Other pollutants can cause organ disease, cancer, and reproductive problems. The

health effects of specific pollutants can be found in The Health Effects Notebook for

Hazardous Air Pollutants at the USEPA Unified Air Toxics website,



*Regulatory Classes of Air Pollutants

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), set by the USEPA, are healthbased

standards for air pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment.

These standards are divided into two categories: primary and secondary standards. Primary

standards protect public health, including the health of “susceptible” groups, such as the

young, old, and ill. Secondary standards preserve public welfare issues, such as maintaining

visibility and decreasing plant, animal, and structural damage.

Six common pollutants make up the NAAQS. Also known as criteria pollutants,

these six air pollutants (Table 2) are used to characterize the air quality of an area. They are

measured in parts per million (ppm) by volume, milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m3),

and micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m3).*


The National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Pollutant (abbreviation) Allowed concentration Over (averaging time)

Ozone (O3) 0.12 ppm (235: μg/m3)b 1 hour b

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 9 ppm (10 mg/m3)a

35 ppm (40 mg/m3)a

8 hour a

1 hour a

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 0.053 ppm, (100: μg/m3)b Annual b

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 0.03 ppm (80: μg/m3)a

0.14 ppm (365: μg/m3)a

0.50 ppm (1300: μg/m3)c

Annual a

24 hour a

3 hourc

Particulate matter < 10

microns in size (PM10)

50: μg/m3 b

150: μg/m3 b

Annual b

24 hour b

Lead (Pb) 1.5: μg/m3 Quarterly b

aprimary standard, bprimary and secondary standard, csecondary standard.

For areas not in compliance with the NAAQS, the USEPA requires a state

implementation plan (SIP) detailing how the state will return to compliance. While the

NAAQS characterize regional patterns of air quality, local patterns from specific sources

may be independent of broader geographical air quality issues. For local air quality, the

USEPA developed the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) list of air pollutants that are

associated with serious health effects, such as cancer, organ disease, and reproductive effects,

and that are regulated at the emission level.



Some air pollutants are not emitted directly from a source. Rather, they are formed in

the atmosphere as a result of chemical reactions. Many of these reactions take time, and as a

result, these pollutants, sometimes called secondary pollutants, have impacts far downwind

of the initial precursor release. Two examples of this are ozone, a main component of smog,

and acid particles that contribute to acid rain. For example, high ozone levels in the

Appalachian Mountains are the result of emissions many miles away. These situations

present unique problems to local boards of health since the poor air quality is caused by

sources far outside their jurisdiction. Managing air pollution resulting from long-range

transport requires regional cooperation.


Engineering controls use technology to either reduce the amount of pollution created during a

process or to reduce the amount of pollution emitted into the air. The first control, changing

the amount of pollution made, can be accomplished by changing the way a chemical is used,

reducing the amount of a chemical used, or using a different chemical that does not cause

pollution. The second engineering control, to reduce the amount of pollution released into the

air, requires the use of filters, scrubbers, and other methods that help remove the pollution

from the emission. The cyclone filter is an example of this second kind of engineering

control (Figure 4). The difference between the two engineering controls is that the first

reduces the entire amount of pollution created, and the second reduces only the amount of

pollution that is released into the air.

The other way to control air quality is through the use of laws to regulate the

allowable levels of emission. The regulations for air pollution are found in the Clean Air Act

(CAA) of 1990. The CAA targeted the key issues of urban air pollution problems, hazardous

air pollutants, and acid rain. In addition, the CAA created an Air Pollution Operating Permit

Program that significantly changed the way states issue permits for air pollution. The

program established minimal federal regulations for air emissions, which means that as long

as state and local governments meet these requirements, they have the flexibility to create a

permit program that works best for their location. As part of the program, the USEPA

continues to improve the program by simplifying the permit application, streamlining permit

revisions, and involving citizens in the permit review process.

The CAA lists the regulations for the entire country, but states and local or regional

agencies are often responsible for implementing the law.


The USEPA Office of Air and Radiation has a variety of publications

available from their Indoor Air Quality website, <www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/>, including The

Air Quality A-11

Inside Story: A Guide for Indoor Air Quality, <www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidest.html>, and

Indoor Air Quality Basics for Schools, <www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/scholkit.html>.

Local boards of health can be instrumental in protecting indoor and outdoor air

quality. They should partner with other local, state, and possibly federal agencies to assist in

monitoring air quality. In addition, local boards can work with their local health agency to

plan responses to events that threaten air quality, such as forest fires, or to provide the

necessary warnings or advisory against pollution or high levels of ozone. Finally, local

boards can help provide information to homeowners, schools, businesses, and others on

indoor air quality.



Resources for Additional Information

American Lung Association. Air Quality. <www.lungusa.org/air>.

Godish, Thad. 1997. Air Quality. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC/Lewis Publishers.

United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor Air Quality Division.


—. Office of Air and Radiation. <www.epa.gov/oar>.

—. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. <www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps>.

—. EPA Operating Permits Program. <www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/permits/index.html>.

—. AIRNOW. <www.epa.gov/airnow>.

—. National Ambient Air Quality Standards. <www.epa.gov/airs/criteria.html>.

—. TTN Web, Unified Air Toxics Website. <www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hapindex.html>.

Walsh, Phillip, Charles Dudney, and Emily Copenhaver. 1984. Indoor Air Quality.

Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press.

pp. A-12


Food and Drug Administration

Center for Food Safety and Nutrition

Center for Veterinary Medicine

Joint Institute for Food Safety

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Council on Food Safety

Department of Agriculture

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Agriculture Research Service

Food Safety and Inspection Service

National Academy of Sciences

National Alliance for Food Safety

FIGURE 1. Federal Food Safety Network

(from above cdc document – probably 1999 doc)


(comment from article below)

  1. 1. Submitted by Bronzedude
    Posted February 04, 2010 08:59 AM

Lead poisoning has also been linked to serious reproductive problems in both men and women. Abnormal menstrual cycles and sterility are possible effects in people with high levels of lead exposure. Furthermore, lead poisoning is particularly harmful to pregnant women. Risk of stillbirth or miscarriage increases in women with high levels of lead in their bloodstream. Additionally, lead poisoning in pregnant women can be transferred to their newborns, leading to developmental delays, kidney disorders and nervous system impairments. For more on see this link – http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/lead_exposure/effects.html

Health risk after lead plant reopens

By ANTHONY KITIMO Posted Wednesday, February 3 2010 at 22:56

Residents of Owino Huru in Mikindani, Mombasa have raised concern over the increasing cases of diseases suspected to be linked to a lead smelting factory that was recently reopened.

The residents have accused public health officials of not taking action against the factory which they accuse of polluting the environment.

Many people, mostly children have been diagnosed with various diseases associated with the toxic fumes from Metal Refinery EPZ Ltd factory.

In a report obtained by the Nation, and signed by a government chemist official, Mr George Kakuta, several children aged below 15 years have been found to be suffering from lead poisoning.

Some of the medical reports indicate one of the children was found with 23 micrograms per decilitre (mcg/dL) of lead in his blood, which is 13 mcg/dL more than the required lead content.

Area chief Nassir Kipepembe confirmed in the report that the children affected live near the factory. Mr Jackson Oseya, a resident, said since the factory was opened three years ago, he has been suffering from chest diseases and abdominal pains.

Green Belt Movement officer Njoroge Karanja said his organisation would hire a lawyer to help residents seek legal redress and to ensure the factory paid medical expenses for all the affected children.

Factory director Irshad Sumra had earlier said the factory had complied with health regulations and blamed business rivals for inciting the residents to tarnish his company’s name.

National Environment Management Authority director of compliance, Coast region, Mr Martin Shimba said they were still investigating the claims by residents



Wel Come to Metal Refinery Group

The company of the MREL Group, has congealed the pace for changing global customer demands for Lead and Lead Alloy Products. All our business processes are targeted at maintaining the highest level of environmental integrity, cost competitiveness and best quality product. We believe that eco-friendly business practices as the preservation and protection of our natural resources with efficient operations. We are committed to providing the Clients with a competitive advantage through a continuous process of quality advancement in all areas of our performance.

Is owned and managed by a forward-looking team of professionals, with an experience in Battery Processing & Lead Recycling Technology of more than 27 years.

Metal Refinery Group was started in 2006. The company boasts of an indigenously developed manufacturing plant and an air pollution control plant which is an essential part of lead smelting plant.

The company has an in-house laboratory for better quality control and can detect impurities level on the lower side up to 0.001%. The quality is checked with help of Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).



Metal Refinery Group is the leading forward in lead smelter in the African Zone. The operation produces high quality lead and lead alloys which are supplied to the producers of all types of Lead Batteries and to the manufacturers of many other types of lead products which include, extrusions, castings and sheet.

Seventy percent (70%) of our production is exported to our numerous foreign customers. The company has built up a strong reputation within the lead sector for its high quality and for its unquestionable high level of efficiency, reliability, technical support k for its well established workforce and to protect the general environment as far as is reasonably practicable and Guide Line by our sister concern New metal Refinery (I) PV. LTD. Mumbai INDIA – 27 year old organization is owned and managed by a forward-looking team of professionals, with an experience in Battery Processing & Lead Recycling Technology of more than 27 years.

Metal Refinery Group has made significant investments in recent years and this will continue as they make every positive effort to comply with current and future environmental requirements.

The companies’ aim is to maintain a safe place of work for its well established workforce and to protect the general environment as far as is reasonably practicable.



  1. EPZ: EPZs in Kenya – Enterprises

Kenya Metal Refineries EPZ Ltd. P. O. Box 92076 – 80102, Mombasa Tel. +254-718-962352. Email: savioalves@hotmail.com. Contact Person: Savio Alves
www.epzakenya.com/epzsinkenya.php?cat=3&sub=10 – CachedSimilar

  1. Sunil Goda |director at metal refinery epz ltd | | Sunil Goda

Sunil Goda director at metal refinery epz ltd of .View Sunil Goda Profile ,Sunil Goda blog, news feed.
http://www.siliconindia.com/…/sunil_Goda_director_at_metal_refinery_epz_ltd.html – India – Cached

  1. Business & Human Rights : Metal refinery ordered to close [Kenya]

Metal Refinery EPZ to cease operations after failing to take measures to safeguard public health and the environment…[C]omplaints were received from


Title: Metal refinery ordered to close [Kenya]

link status: ok (opens outside this page)
Visit: Metal refinery ordered to close [Kenya]

Author: Mazera Ndurya, Daily Nation [Kenya]
Dated: 18 Jun 2008

The Municipal Council of Mombasa has ordered…Metal Refinery EPZ to cease operations after failing to take measures to safeguard public health and the environment…[C]omplaints were received from residents about smelters spewing lead particles into the air and open surface water drainage…About 500 residents of Ashton village in Jomvu complained of deteriorating health following the opening of a battery manufacturing factory in the neighbourhood…”Several primary school children have been experiencing persistent coughs while some residents have been having problems with their eyesight and experiencing general body weakness” [chairman of the council’s Public Health Committee, Dr Jamada Swaleh Chidagaya] said.


Related topics:
Law & lawsuits
Regions / Countries

Kenya: Metal Refinery Ordered to Close

Mazera Ndurya

18 June 2008

Nairobi — The Municipal Council of Mombasa has ordered a company closed over public health concerns.

A letter from the council’s medical officer of health dated June 12, 2008, ordered Metal Refinery EPZ to cease operations after failing to take measures to safeguard public health and the environment.

According to an inspection report, complaints were received from residents about smelters spewing lead particles into the air and open surface water drainage.

The inspection team, led by the chairman of the council’s Public Health Committee, Dr Jamada Swaleh Chidagaya noted lack of a well protected place for processing and melting lead materials.

Other areas of concern included lack of proper drainage for the premises, lack of pre-treatment of waste to remove lead elements before disposal and lack of approved plans, occupation permit and drainage certificate.


The company has to meet all the requirements set by the inspection team before it can resume operations.

Dr Chidagaya said the council would also close another company this week for a similar reason.

About 500 residents of Ashton village in Jomvu complained of deteriorating health following the opening of a battery manufacturing factory in the neighbourhood.

Relevant Links

They said since the factory started operations, several birds had died after drinking water seeping through a wall. Some food crops had also started turning yellow.

According to one of the residents, Ms Saumu Nyakodondo, the problem started following the onset of the rains.


“Several primary school children have been experiencing persistent coughs while some residents have been having problems with their eyesight and experiencing general body weakness.

“We reported the matter to the management who took the dead birds and some soil for tests,” she said.

The National Environmental Management Authority had also sent a team of inspectors to assess the situation.



  1. Breaking News, Kenya, Africa, Politics, Business, Sports, Blogs

Feb 3, 2010 Many people, mostly children have been diagnosed with various diseases associated with the toxic fumes from Metal Refinery EPZ Ltd factory.

  1. [PDF]

Residents of Owino

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from Metal Refinery EPZ Ltd factory. In a report obtained by the. Nation, and signed by a gov- ernment chemist official, Mr. George Kakuta, several chil-


Oil profits



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Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News, Portland
The SSV Corwith Cramer is involved in the plastics research

Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates.

The region is said to compare with the well-documented “great Pacific garbage patch”.

Karen Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been “largely ignored” in the Atlantic.

She announced the findings of a two-decade-long study at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, US.

The work is the conclusion of the longest and most extensive record of plastic marine debris in any ocean basin.

Scientists and students from the SEA collected plastic and marine debris in fine mesh nets that were towed behind a research vessel.

We know that many marine organisms are consuming these plastics and we know this has a bad effect on seabirds in particular

Dr Karen Lavender Law, Sea Education Association

The nets dragged along were half-in and half-out of the water, picking up debris and small marine organisms from the sea surface.

The researchers carried out 6,100 tows in areas of the Caribbean and the North Atlantic – off the coast of the US. More than half of these expeditions revealed floating pieces of plastic on the water surface.

These were pieces of low-density plastic that are used to make many consumer products, including plastic bags.

Dr Lavender Law said that the pieces of plastic she and her team picked up in the nets were generally very small – up to 1cm across.

“We found a region fairly far north in the Atlantic Ocean where this debris appears to be concentrated and remains over long periods of time,” she explained.

“More than 80% of the plastic pieces we collected in the tows were found between 22 and 38 degrees north. So we have a latitude for [where this] rubbish seems to accumulate,” she said.

The maximum “plastic density” was 200,000 pieces of debris per square kilometre.

“That’s a maximum that is comparable with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Dr Lavender Law.

But she pointed out that there was not yet a clear estimate of the size of the patches in either the Pacific or the Atlantic.

“You can think of it in a similar way [to the Pacific Garbage Patch], but I think the word ‘patch’ can be misleading. This is widely dispersed and it’s small pieces of plastic,” she said.

The impacts on the marine environment of the plastics were still unknown, added the researcher.

“But we know that many marine organisms are consuming these plastics and we know this has a bad effect on seabirds in particular,” she told BBC News.

Nets are dragged half-in and half-out of the water

Nikolai Maximenko from University of Hawaii, who was not involved in the study, said that it was very important to continue the research to find out the impacts of plastic on the marine ecosystem.

He told BBC News: “We don’t know how much is consumed by living organisms; we don’t have enough data.

“I think this is a big target for the next decade – a global network to observe plastics in the ocean.”








Voyage confirms plastic pollution
27 Aug 09 |  Science & Environment

Diary from the middle of nowhere
29 Mar 08 |  Science & Environment

New ‘battle of Midway’ over plastic
26 Mar 08 |  Science & Environment


Ocean Sciences 2010


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


‘Rubbish patch’ blights Atlantic

Ocean robot ‘plans experiments’

Giant predatory shark unearthed


My Note – the people in Washington are talking around a big table with health care summit title which is nothing but a lie. It isn’t health care they are interested in at all. It is nothing but a joke nationally and internationally because we all know these things listed above don’t do anything for good health and never once have they thought doing something about it was necessary. They took exercise out of schools, had schools built like prisons without sunshine or fresh air or windows, took away school lunches and nutrition times, left menus of heavily starchy grade C foods when they have offered cafeterias for students and left buildings with sick building syndrome where the air is filled with chemicals and toxins. They’ve forced all of us that have ever had to ride a school bus and the children who are riding school buses now to endure diesel exhaust fumes that are more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke at four packs a day. The number of chemicals and toxic substances in fumes from cars and trucks hang over our roads, sidewalks and cities like a putrid chemical stew deterring good health as any possibility. They’ve left our dirt where our children play filled with lead, arsenic, chromium and so many other chemicals whose names are almost longer than I am tall. The air we breathe in America everywhere, even in small towns and rural communities is choked with those chemicals whose chemical toxic signatures have been found, identified, studied, quantified, listed, published, and recognized throughout my lifetime without having done a thing to fix it.

Obviously, good health is not the concern of those sitting at that table in Washington today. The only thing they have given us is an America where children are endangered, where it isn’t safe to breathe, or to walk outside most days, where freeways are clogged with a hovering cloud of exhaust fumes filling the air intakes of every driver’s cabin, where schools don’t teach and have become nothing but prisons without physical exercise or clean air or dynamic love of learning or respect or good food or any joyous celebration of life. And, they’ve made an America that is so polluted that cancers are prevalent, deaths are common which are caused by health care system failures and errors and pharmaceutical errors and health diagnostic errors and profiteering based errors, and where sickness caused by commercial industries that pollute are still never resolved in any humane and conscionable manner.

These same legislative bodies are the same ones who decided many years ago to explode nuclear bombs over our heads to test them and in the soil of our states to test them with plumes from those underground tests carrying atomic fallout on the winds over every piece of land and in every molecule of air and water throughout the United States. And it didn’t matter to them then, and the health and well-being of Americans whose lives they are shortening and are causing to endure sickness and disease even now from industrial toxic wastes and pollutants don’t matter to them now. The only thing Washington wants to do is to make sure that none of us eat sugary  breakfast cereals and come into our homes to decide how we think, act and behave while forcing us to pay the insurance companies they are beholden to – for our right to live as American citizens. That is the “health care summit” while toxic wastes continue to stream everyday into our air, water, soil, oceans, groundwater, well water, lakes, streams, lungs, skin and eyes. The nasty truth is that Washington elected officials and their staff of 9,000 ass wipers will never, never be inclined to clean up the mess they’ve made, now or in the future – will never, never be willing to make America a place with good health care systems – nor will Washington or the states’ government aristocracy ever make the United States of America a land of good things for the American people. That is not their goal, obviously. They are too busy lining the pockets of the industries and insurance companies they serve.

These are the same government legislators who filled our vaccines with mercury, who allowed the FDA to serve the drug companies, who wanted the National Highways and Safety Administration to serve the interests of car manufacturers instead of safety, who removed the USDA inspectors and food safety inspectors at every level such that food borne illnesses carried in our food supply killed thousands of people, who let our health care industries and pharmaceutical companies get away with killing over 100,000 people a year through errors, mistakes, bad medicine, bad medical practices, misdiagnoses, stupidity, incompetence and lack of concern, who let our entire nation fall from a powerhouse to become nothing but a bed of iniquity, corruption, police brutality and putrid toxic chemical stews where we live while bankers and Wall Street firms are paid to steal every last dime from us legally. What happens when good, decent people go to Washington or to our state government legislatures that makes them create and apply policy that is so horribly, horribly wrong? Why is it that they can’t see it is horribly, horribly wrong before they do it or most certainly, after it is so consistently and obviously wrong – and why don’t they change it to make it right? Why doesn’t that ever happen? Why does it take an act of God or some ridiculously obscene court case for them to wake up and realize that maybe, just maybe they should do something about the mess they’ve made with their decisions we’ve endured or are enduring? Why is that so consistently the case and why is it so consistently the case, that the people in government legislatures, Washington and states included, get is so completely wrong and backasswards to what they claim they are trying to do for us? Is it all just a lie they are telling us, while the truth, as evidenced by the toxic fumes information and other factual data like the repugnant survivability rate of our health care system, etc. – simply do show something else is the case?

– cricketdiane, 02-25-10


And, the Republicans sure didn’t concern themselves with fraud when they handed out over a trillion dollars to the bankers, Wall Street firms, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers ( which in the final analysis did get its books of bad debts covered by us), and every other hedge fund managing gambler in the financial sector. They still bow to them like they are God while trying to tell the American people that we are the sorry bunch that caused the problems.

To end on a happy note – there is one thing that I know beyond a shadow of doubt, the answer to much of the problems is not in Washington nor in state capitals nor in the corporate boardrooms because none of them have any reason to solve for x. It isn’t their goal and it doesn’t really pertain to them to solve these problems. They have the money that none of us have. They have the education for themselves and for their children and families that none of us have available to us. They have the pensions covered and the 100% health care coverage at the best hospitals with the best doctors that give a damn.