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Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
(click on image to see a readable copy)
Science News reports that Bones regulate Blood Sugar -- new hormone discovered in bone building cells (osteoplasts)
The hormone is called Osteocalcin and good levels of it are needed to help produce the beta cells in the pancreas that produce extra insulin.
This is an amazing discovery because we have a tremendous amount of diabetes here in this region around Asarco. My own question is whether or not the heavy metals, chemicals and radioactive particles from the smelting could damage bones and affect blood sugar levels. We may never know because Industry has such a dampening effect on finding things like this -- kind of like how the chemical industry helped back the IEUBK lead exposure model that says your exposure to chemicals is less because you spend time inside -- but it never took into account swamp coolers (swamp coolers equalize dust inside and outside the house). Or how everyone talks about how Lead (Pb) around here comes from cars and lead-glazed mexican pottery and candy wrappers, but ignores the largest custom smelter in the world sitting right next to the University.
Exposure to alpha radiation linked to high levels of myelodysplastic syndrome (leukemia), cancers, and liver cancer
"We studied the alpha-radiation risks in patients who received injections of Thorotrast, an X-ray contrast medium used in Europe, Japan, and the United States from 1930 to 1955. Thorotrast was composed of thorium dioxide (ThO2) and Th-232, a naturally occurring radionuclide. Because the physical half-life of ThO2 is 14 billion years and Thorotrast is hardly eliminated from the body, tissues in which it was deposited are irradiated by alpha-radiation for the entire lifetime of the subject. ....Among blood neoplasms with a higher incidence of increase than the general population, erythroleukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome were remarkable. ...
- J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol.2001;20(4):311-5.
Alpha-particle carcinogenesis in Thorotrast patients: epidemiology, dosimetry, pathology, and molecular analysis.
Ishikawa Y, Wada I, Fukumoto M. Department of Pathology, The Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo.
Asarco worker, Danny Arellano, a young father who worked at the Acid Plant during the Toxic Waste burning in the 1990's, suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome. Wikipedia describes this as "preleukemia" that has a varying risk of transformation to acute myelogenous leukemia."
(click on the image to enlarge it on a new screen!)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Nice to get the press for this blog and the toxic waste burning, but the 633-5412 phone is ACORN and that is a separate group from this blog (see the links to "takedownasarco"). We have a similar goal in that we want the smelter to stay closed.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
from the words of the poet, Walt Whitman, written in 1888 -- the decade that Asarco first started smelting here on the Rio Grande pass where two nations and several states meet -- when the river ran clean, fish swam in the waters, orchards grew downriver and people built TB sanatoriums here to recover in the clean air.
Monday, August 20, 2007
2003 EPA Handbook recommended removing at least a foot of dirt... in Anapra they are removing 2 to 6 inches
Twenty-four (24) inches of clean soil cover is generally considered to be adequate for gardening areas; however, site specific conditions that may require more soil cover (e.g., presence of burrowing animals) should be considered. A 24-inch barrier normally is necessary to prevent contact of contaminated soil at depth with plant roots, root vegetables, and clean soil that is mixed via deep rototilling. Raised garden beds may be built to obtain 24 inches of clean soil, and may be more cost effective than excavating to 24 inches in depth, e.g., excavate 12 inches of contaminated soil, then add 24 inches of soil to create a 12" raised bed."
from: "Superfund Lead-Contaminated Residential Sites Handbook Final: August 2003 Prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency Lead Sites Workgroup (LSW) "
Soil removal in Colorado (soil removal is generally deeper in desert climates, since root zone is deeper)
18 inches in vegetable garden soils, where metals concentrations exceed 73 parts per million
(ppm) cadmium, 500 ppm lead or 70 ppm arsenic. ...."
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division
Five-Year Review Asarco Globe Site Denver, Colorado
of the high lead contamination areas. This was known as Phase I. Between November 1992 and March 1993,
Phase II required the collection of soil samples, in addition to dust, tap water, and paint samples from the interior
of residences. Removal in 1994 occurred for all properties with surface soil lead concentrations greater than 4000
ppm. Contaminated soil was removed and taken to an industrial landfill or other acceptable disposal facilities.
Cleanup levels for this action consisted of excavating soil to a depth of eighteen inches or to depths where lead
contamination levels were less than 800 ppm. Some excavation included the demolition of small structures and
the removal of trees and shrubbery, which were then tested for residual lead contamination. The debris was then,
if applicable, disposed of in a construction or municipal landfill. Dust control and hazardous materials release
controls were established for stockpiles of contaminated materials during the removal, including air monitoring for
releases of hazardous substances during removal operations. Clean soil was brought in to replace the removed
soil, and the site was returned to its original grade. All areas which were excavated or regraded were contoured to
assist in drainage, which was directed away from the foundations of houses and buildings. Irrigation ditches were
replaced in the same configuration as they were originally found and constructed of compacted clay to prevent
erosion. Residential sprinkler systems were also replaced."
from: CERCLA IMMINENT HAZARD MINING AND MINERAL PROCESSING FACILITIES Office of Solid Waste U.S. Environmental Protection Agency February 1997
ASARCO cleaning up in Anapra
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Process begins at city's Asarco plant
By Jim McBride
The copper inside probably came from Asarco's Amarillo copper refinery.
The refining process begins with anodes - 2-inch-thick slabs of nearly pure copper about 3 feet wide and 3½ feet tall - that are shipped from an Asarco smelter in Arizona. [suddenly there is plenty of copper and plenty of smelters to keep Amarillo at good-production. What happened to the reasons to close Asarco El Paso down? El Paso's closure was supposed to have meant that Amarillo couldn't get enough copper. Now, eight years after Amarillo, El Paso, Helena, TN and Corpus Christi were hit with the multi-media consent decree for their deliberate profit-making burning of untracked toxic wastes... suddenly Amarillo is back in full production. El Paso was supposed to only be closed 3 years. The streets in El Paso were supposed to be paved for six years. What happened here? WHY SHUT DOWN A SMELTER AFTER TOXIC WASTE WAS BURNED?
What have they not told us??!?]