Monday, February 23, 2015

Got Dioxin? 3 Abandoned Places That Are Likely Damaging Our Earth
A place, once bustling and booming with life, becomes thoroughly vacated. Whether due to financial reasons, legal issues or something else, amusement parks, properties and even entire towns sometimes become abandoned. Most of the time, items at the site are left to rot away and can damage the environment since they are not properly disposed of. That means fuel, chemicals, paint and other harmful liquids are exposed to the elements in canisters that rust and then rot. When deterioration occurs, containers that hold toxic contents seep out into the earth.

There are many factors like this where abandoned places can negatively affect our environment. But whose job is it to clean these areas up? Volunteers can’t step foot on many of these restricted and unsafe areas without evading health risks or imprisonment for trespassing. Plus, there are many government-owned abandoned places like military bases, making it unlikely that the government will take ownership and responsibility for each and every single one of these situations; their deserted locations are often left astray as well.
Many instances have occurred where soil and site areas test positive for radiation or other toxins at places of abandonment. Following disasters or evacuation, even many years afterwards, some places contain little to no signs of viable life, wildlife and even certain plant growth. Particular whereabouts, especially those in which radioactive incidents transpired, are just too hostile and unlivable. Here are three examples of disclaimed locations that are likely harming our environment:
1. Chernobyl
The disaster that took place at the Chernobyl power plant in the late 1980s sent large quantities of radiation through the now abandoned city of Pripyat and into the atmosphere, affecting what was then the western USSR and Europe. 
2. Brio
The Brio Refinery located in Harris County, Texas, housed many chemical companies until the refinery went bankrupt in 1982. Since then, disavowed unprocessed petroleum, and other harmful materials, have been seeping into the land after the abandoned earthen pits that they were stored in leaked into the groundwater.
3. Times Beach
In 1983, Times Beach, Mo., was completely evacuated due to high levels of dioxin. Prior to discovering dioxin was present, unexplained deaths and illnesses in the area caught the attention of the CDC. Upon testing soil and obtaining other samples, and discovering a shockingly high level of dioxin, the EPA also became involved. Over 800 families had to relocate and leave their lives behind; they also worried about long term health problems that might be consequences from the chemical exposure.

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