Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Curtis Bay incinerator will endanger Marylanders [Commentary]

The proposed trash-burning "power plant" should not be built

11:52 a.m. EST, December 19, 2013
The students at Benjamin Franklin High School have it right. They have organized against Energy Answers' waste-to-energy incinerator planned for a location within one mile of three schools in Curtis Bay.
Not only should it not be built so close to their school, it should not be built at all. Calling it a trash-burning "power plant" doesn't make it safe or change the fact that it incinerates industrial waste including old tires, plastics and construction materials — up to 1.4 million tons a year.
This industrial waste produces dangerous emissions such as mercury and other heavy metals, dioxin and other chlorinated chemicals. When mercury deposits in waterways, it gets converted to methyl mercury and concentrated in fish. When pregnant women and children consume the fish, neonates and children can suffer neurological damage and diminished IQ. Some heavy metals like cadmium, chromium and nickel increase the risk of lung cancer. Dioxin, one of the most dangerous chemicals, is formed when chlorinated organic compounds are incinerated, and hence, incinerators are the major source of dioxin in the environment. In addition to causing cancer, it weakens immunological response to infection and can disrupt hormonal action, including reproductive function. It accumulates in our fat and doesn't go away.

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