INCINERATORS

 

Emissions Discharge Daily Averages are given in PPMC.  PPMC = Parts Per Million Corrected to 7% Oxygen.  The atmosphere contains 21% oxygen by volume, so multiply these figures by three.  Only three contaminants are monitored for: Carbon Monoxide [172 TPYA], Nitrogen Oxides [502 TPYA] and Sulfur Dioxide [292 TPYA].  TPYA = Tons Per Year Allowed into the air by State Pollution Control Hearings Boards.

Absent from reports are the amount of emissions discharge of:

Arsenic [.034 TPYA]

Beryllium [.00068 TPYA]

Cadmium [.2 TPYA]

Carbon Dioxide

Chlorides [292 TPYA] includes Vinyl Chloride

Chromium [.2 TPYA]

Copper [.17 TPYA]

Dioxins and Furans [.000006 TPYA]

Fluorides

Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Ethylene) [3 TPYA]

Lead [3.4 TPYA]

Mercury [1.5 TPYA]

Nickel [.14 TPYA]

PAH [.02 TPYA]

Particulates [68 TPYA]

PCB [.00019 TPYA]

Selenium [.0068 TPYA]

Tin [.8 TPYA]

Vanadium [.01 TPYA]

Zinc [6.8 TPYA]

All are known to be discharged from incinerators.  In brackets next to each toxic substance is the Tons Per Year Allowed for each into the air by State Pollution Control Hearings Boards, but none of these are monitored for.

Even in minute quantities, each substance is toxic.  Some are cumulative and some are already known to be carcinogens.  What about synergistic effects of simultaneous exposure to multiple toxins?  Will the risks multiply?  What are the effects on the immune system, chromosomes, genes and those not yet born?

Modern incinerators remove 99 percent of weight-based particles emitted.  Nevertheless, incinerators fail to filter out the smallest, most harmful particles, which weigh virtually nothing, yet make up most emissions.  The smaller the particles, the more inflammatory and toxic they are.  Breathing in these particles can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer, blood clots and other chronic health effects.  The U. S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that weight-based emission filtration levels are effectively useless.  The method has prevailed because there is no way to count the number of particles emitted.

Incinerators produce ash, which has to be buried in landfills.  Incinerators are a foolish technology based on a childish notion that if you burn something, it disappears.

What kind of legacy for the future will this be?

It took seventeen generations to destroy the Roman Empire by ingestion from lead lined aqueducts and lead eating, drinking utensils.  Will we survive that long?

The air becomes saturated, fallout contaminates the earth and water.  Our watershed, the snow in the mountains, is downwind.  Contaminated with these toxic substances, the runoff flows to rivers, lakes and recharges the water table aquifer.  Besides the direct intake by animals and humans, this contamination of air and water is absorbed by vegetation.  Contaminated vegetation that kills bees and other pollinators.  Vegetation that would ordinarily give off oxygen.  Vegetation alone has the unique ability to convert inorganic minerals absorbed from the soil and water into organic forms that animals and humans can use.

 

Precautionary Principle
When an activity raises threats of harm
to human health or the environment,
precautionary measures should be taken
even if some cause and effect
relationships are not fully established
scientifically.

 

 

“INCINERATED GARBAGE ASH IS FOUND TO HAVE SEVERAL TOXIC SUBSTANCES.”  New York Times,  November 26, 1987

“INCINERATORS: A PROBLEM, NOT A SOLUTION.”

New York Times,  September 21, 1991

“INCINERATORS BECOME AN OUTMODED TECHNOLOGY.”

New York Times,  February 14, 1992

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULES THAT ASH FROM INCINERATORS IS A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL.  May 2, 1994

“INCINERATION AND DEATH BY DIOXIN.  DESCRIBED AS THE MOST TOXIC CHEMICAL KNOWN….”  The Ecologist,  July‑August 1997

“INCREASED MERCURY EXPOSURE IN INHABITANTS LIVING IN THE VICINITY OF A HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATOR: A 10‑YEAR FOLLOW‑UP.”  Archives of Environmental Health,  March‑April 1998

“U. K. [UNITED KINGDOM] GOVERNMENT’S NEW FONDNESS FOR INCINERATOR BUILDING…WILL LOCK THE COUNTRY INTO A TECHNOLOGY WHICH DESTROYS HUMAN HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT, AND WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MOVING AWAY FROM AS FAST AS THEY CAN.  AFTER 10 YEARS’ DETAILED ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE, THE U. S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ANNOUNCED THAT DIOXINS FROM INCINERATOR ASH POSE A TENFOLD GREATER THREAT TO HUMAN HEALTH THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT.”  The Ecologist,  October 2000

“INCINERATORS HAVE BEEN PINPOINTED AS THE MAJOR, IF NOT LARGEST, SOURCES OF TOXIC EMISSIONS INTO THE ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING HEAVY METALS AND THE ULTRA TOXIC DIOXINS AND FURANS, WHICH ARE KNOWN CARCINOGENS.  COMMUNITIES LIVING AROUND AND DOWNWIND OF INCINERATORS IN COUNTRIES LIKE JAPAN AND FRANCE HAVE HIGHER RATES OF CANCER, BIRTH DEFECTS AND INFANT MORTALITY, COMPARED TO INCINERATION‑FREE AREAS.”  Environment Bulletin,  February 18, 2001

 

“Concern for man himself and his safety
must always form the chief interest
of all technical endeavours.
Never forget this in the midst of your
diagrams and equations.”

Albert Einstein

 

 

“E. U. [EUROPEAN UNION] COURT RAPS FRANCE OVER WASTE INCINERATION DIRECTIVES.”  European Report,  June 22, 2002

“THE U. S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT RULED ON FEBRUARY 24 [2004] THAT THE EPA [ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY] FAILED TO SET POLLUTION STANDARDS PROPERLY UNDER THE FEDERAL CLEAN AIR ACT….”  Waste News,  March 1, 2004

“WASTE INCINERATORS GENERATE POLLUTION AND PLACE HUGE FINANCIAL BURDENS ON HOST COMMUNITIES.  HIGH CAPITAL COSTS, TONNAGE SHORTFALLS AND EXPENSIVE POLLUTION CONTROL EQUIPMENT HAMPER LOWER‑COST OPTIONS SUCH AS RECYCLING.”

Waste News,  April 26, 2004

“SMOKE, GASES AND ASH FROM INCINERATORS CAN CONTAIN HARMFUL DIOXINS, WHICH ARE A CAUSE OF CANCER.”

Europe Intelligence Wire,  August 7, 2008

“‘TAPPING POWER FROM TRASH’ (September 14) RAISES AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN OBTAINING METHANE TO POWER GENERATORS FROM LANDFILLS VERSUS BURNING TRASH IN INCINERATORS AND CLAIMING THE PURPOSE IS TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY.  CALLING INCINERATORS A WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY IS A MYTH.  THE AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY GENERATED IS TRIVIAL.  CALLING AN INCINERATOR A WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT CREATES A FALSE, BENEFICIAL PERCEPTION OF THESE PLANTS. CALLING FOR THEIR EXPANSION IS BENEFICIAL SOLELY FOR THE WASTE DISPOSAL INDUSTRY AND DESTRUCTIVE TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT.”  New York Times,  September 28, 2008

“APPROXIMATELY 2,000 TONS OF MERCURY ENTERS THE ENVIRONMENT ANNUALLY FROM SUCH HUMAN-GENERATED SOURCES AS INCINERATORS, CHLORINE-PRODUCING PLANTS AND COAL-BURNING POWER PLANTS.  MERCURY EXPOSURE CAN DAMAGE THE HUMAN HEART, IMMUNE SYSTEM AND CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM; WHILE IN WILDLIFE IT CAN ALSO INTERFERE WITH REPRODUCTION, GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOR AND MAY EVEN CAUSE DEATH.”  UPI News Track,  Octobe 13, 2008

INCINERATORS

by Robert A Kroboth     WWW.CitizenGadfly.Com

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