Below was taken from the March 2015, “Finding of Violations” against the hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. For years citizens from across the national have complained about this facility that sets right on the bank of the Ohio River. Not only are the residents of East Liverpool impacted by this facility but citizens from Pennsylvania and West Virginia would also feel the effects as the facility set right in the middle of a triangle formed by these states. Imagine how the citizens of East Liverpool felt when they read the following.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Of’ ‘VIOLATIONS
Heritage’s violations have caused or can cause excess emissions of organic HAPs.
Dioxins/furans, PM, PM metals (such as antimony, cobalt, manganese, nickel. and selenium)
Mercury, semivolatile (lead and cadmium) metals, low volatile (arsenic. beryllium, and total
chromium) metals, hydrogen chloride and chlorine.
Organic HAPs: Organic HAPs include halogenated and nonhalogenated organic classes of
compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs). Both PAHs and PCBs are classified as potential human carcinogens, and are considered
toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Organic HAP also include compounds such as benzene,
methane, propane, chlorinated alkanes and alkenes, phenols and chlorinated aromatics. Adverse
health effects of HAPs include damage to the immune system, as well as neurological,
reproductive, developmental, respirator and other health problems.
Dioxin/Furans: Dioxins and furans can cause a number of health effects. The most well-known
member of the dioxins/furans family is 2,3,7,8 TCDD. EPA has said that it is likely to be a
cancer causing substance to humans. In addition, people exposed to dioxins and furans have
experienced changes in hormone levels. High doses of dioxin have caused a skin disease called
chloracne. Animal studies show that animals exposed to dioxins and furans experienced changes
in their hormone systems changes in the development of the fetus, decreased ability to reproduce
and suppressed immune system.
PM: Exposure to particles can lead to a variety of serious health effects. Fine particles pose the
greatest problems. Scientific studies show links between these small particles and numerous
adverse health effects. Epidemiological studies have shown a significant correlation between
elevated PM levels and premature mortality. Other effects associated with PM exposure include
aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, lung disease, decrease lung function,
asthma attacks, and certain cardiovascular problems.
PM Metals (antimony, cobalt, manganese. nickel and selenium): Studies have shown that
antimony accumulates in the lung and is retained for a long time. Antimony has been associated
with lung damage and myocardial effects. Cobalt has been reported to cause respiratory effects
in humans including irritation, wheezing, asthma and pneumonia and may cause lung cancer.
Chronic exposure to high levels of manganese by inhalation in humans results primarily in
central nervous system effects. Respiratory effects have been reported in humans from
inhalation of nickel. EPA has classified nickel refinery subsulfide as a human carcinogen and
nickel carbonyl as a probable human carcinogen. Studies of humans chronically exposed to high
levels of selenium in food and water have reported discoloration of the skin, pathological
deformation and loss of nails, loss of hair. excessive tooth decay. lack of mental alertness and
Mercury: Chronic exposure to elemental mercury in humans affects the central nervous system
with effects such as increased excitability. irritability, excessive shyness, and tremors. The
major effect from chronic exposure to inorganic mercury is kidney damage. EPA has classified
mercuric chloride (an inorganic mercury compound) as a Group C possible human carcinogen.
Semi volatile metals (lead and cadmium): Chronic exposure to high levels of lead in humans
results in effects on the blood, central nervous system, blood pressure, and kidneys.
Reproductive effects, such as decreased sperm count in men and spontaneous abortions in
women have been associated with lead exposure. Chronic inhalation or oral exposure to
cadmium leads to a build-up of cadmium leads to a build-up of cadmium in the kidneys that can
cause kidney disease. Cadmium has also been shown to be a developmental toxicant in animals,
resulting in fetal malformations.
Low volatile metals (arsenic. beryllium, and total chromium): Chronic inhalation exposure to
inorganic arsenic in humans is associated with irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Inorganic arsenic exposure in humans by the inhalation route has been shown to be strongly
associated with lung cancer. Chronic inhalation exposure of humans to high levels of beryllium
has been reported to cause chronic beryllium disease in which noncancerous lesions develop in
the lung. Inhalation exposure to high levels of beryllium has been demonstrated to cause lung
cancer in rats and monkeys. Chromium may be emitted tin two forms, trivalent chromium or
hexavalent chromium. The respiratory tract is the major target organ for hexavalent chromium
toxicity for inhalation exposures. Human and animal studies have clearly established that
inhaled hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen. The respiratory tract is also the major target organ
for trivalent chromium although trivalent chromium is less toxic than hexavalent chromium.
Hydrogen chloride: Hydrogen chloride is corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
Chronic occupational exposure to hydrogen chloride has been reported to cause gastritis,
bronchitis, and dermatitis in workers. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations may also cause
dental discoloration and erosion. In rats exposed to hydrogen chloride by inhalation, altered
estrus cycles have been reported in females and increased fetal mortality and decreased fetal
weight have been reported in offspring.
Chlorine gas: Chlorine is an irritant to the eyes, the upper respiratory track, and lungs. Chronic
exposure to chlorine gas in workers has resulted in respiratory effects including eye and throat
irritation and airflow obstruction.