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Saturday, January 9, 2010

EPA Tests state that fuel oil electric plants (like the one at ASARCO) emitted Beryllium. So why don't we have DATA for the amounts here in the Paso del Norte?!?

"EPA tests on emissions from coal-fired power plants have also detected 67
different pollutants in trace amounts, including hazardous air pollutants, mercury,
beryllium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead
. These trace contaminants are
also known to be emitted from fuel oil combustion"

20030900 Research Paper (EPCC and NMSU) states that Rio Grande contamination by ASARCO could be responsible for leukaemia and congenital malformations in people

"Agrochemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, arsenic, and PCBs (presumably from illegal dumping, agriculture and maquiladora activities) have been detected in the [Rio Grande by Asarco] and may be associated with fish deformities, leukaemia, and congenital malformations in humans."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Asarco Lead (Pb) sources in El Paso ... 2 million dollars ... to run x-ray absorption?

"PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5019. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Urban airborne lead: X-ray absorption spectroscopy establishes soil as dominant source.

Pingitore NE Jr, Clague JW, Amaya MA, Maciejewska B, Reynoso JJ.

Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, USA.

BACKGROUND: Despite the dramatic decrease in airborne lead over the past three decades, there are calls for regulatory limits on this potent pediatric neurotoxin lower even than the new (2008) US Environmental Protection Agency standard. To achieve further decreases in airborne lead, what sources would need to be decreased and what costs would ensue? Our aim was to identify and, if possible, quantify the major species (compounds) of lead in recent ambient airborne particulate matter collected in El Paso, TX, USA. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used synchrotron-based XAFS (x-ray absorption fine structure) to identify and quantify the major Pb species. XAFS provides molecular-level structural information about a specific element in a bulk sample. Pb-humate is the dominant form of lead in contemporary El Paso air. Pb-humate is a stable, sorbed complex produced exclusively in the humus fraction of Pb-contaminated soils; it also is the major lead species in El Paso soils. Thus such soil must be the dominant source, and its resuspension into the air, the transfer process, providing lead particles to the local air. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Current industrial and commercial activity apparently is not a major source of airborne lead in El Paso, and presumably other locales that have eliminated such traditional sources as leaded gasoline. Instead, local contaminated soil, legacy of earlier anthropogenic Pb releases, serves as a long-term reservoir that gradually leaks particulate lead to the atmosphere. Given the difficulty and expense of large-scale soil remediation or removal, fugitive soil likely constrains a lower limit for airborne lead levels in many urban settings.

PMID: 19340295 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]"

Asarco Lead (Pb) source - confounds... again.

Dr. Pingitore awarded 2009 N.I.H. grant for almost one million dollars (Total 2009 Funding: $921,489 ) and $943,726 in 2008!!

This local activist is confounded by the N.I.H. awarding such monies to researcher(s) who themselves admitted "various factors confound [their] ability to distinguish the relative contributions of Pb from the smelter point source and from the local area sources."

"Asarco spokespersons deny their company is responsible for the contamination in adjacent zones... Their argument received some support in a 2004 paper ...Authored by Dr. Nicholas Pingitore, Dr. Maria Amaya and others...cited other reasons the core area near Asarco could be laden with high amounts of lead, including the prior use of unleaded gasoline and old, vintage homes brightened with lead paint. According to Pingitore and associates, the various factors “" >confound one’s ability"> to distinguish the relative contributions of Pb from the smelter point source and from the local areal sources.”"">Frontera NorteSur June-August 2005 "The Battle of Asarco"

"Andrea, I know the work that has been done by Dr. Pingitore has been absolutely valid, and his approaches well justified." (quote from Dr. Amaya, email from Varnell to Eliot Shapleigh 2/23/2004 4:33 PM on Blood Lead Levels). Dr. Amaya now does research with Dr. Pingitore....

“In terms of actual concentration, lead paint chips and lead paint dust from these older homes are the biggest source of lead pollution in the community,” Johnson [previous Asarco El Paso environmental Manager] said, citing three studies, the latest an independent examination by UTEP geochemistry Prof. Nicholas Pingitore – also a Kern Place resident......Pingitore also takes issue with an EPA study that showed there is a lot of lead sulfide in the soil. It’s a substance one might normally assume came out of the smokestacks. “We don’t seem to find it,” Pingitore said of his own studies. ...." (from 20060128 el paso inc)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

20091103 Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett) bid 34 BILLION to buy Burlington Northern Railroad

"November 3....Warren Buffett's legendary Berkshire Hathaway offered a whopping $34 billion to buy Burlington Northern Railroad.  The bid marked a 31.5% premium and was the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway's history!"

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