A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 October 10 , 1991


Camden County, NJ, pioneers health-based standard for mercury emissions.

NJ DEPE has to give its approval for standard to become effective.

Sweden: 40 micrograms of mercury per cubic meter. Holland: 50 micrograms of mercury per cubic meter.

Germany has proposed a combined limit of 140 micrograms for mercury and cadmium per cubic meter.

Camden County, NJ: 50 micrograms per cubic meter (0.024 pounds per hour.

Foster Wheeler incinerator in Camden County: 600 micrograms per cubic meter (1/4 lbs. per hr.)

On September 19, 1991, the Camden County Board of Freeholders in a 6-0 vote (1 Freeholder was absent) approved the first health based mercury emission limit in the country to protect their population. The standard that Camden County enacted is: “[E]missions of mercury from stationary sources should be limited to no more than 0.024 pounds of mercury per hour (0.024 lb/hr), as applied to a combustion source emission this rate would be the equivalent of 50 micrograms of mercury per cubic meter...that the Camden County Department of Health will adopt testing protocol through regulation; and...that a fine of $2,500 per violation will be levied on offenders and that each day in which a facility is in violation will be deemed a separate violation; and...that Camden County Counsel is authorized to seek an injunction in order to prevent continuing violation of this resolution.Foster Wheeler operates a 1,050 tpd mass burn incinerator which went ‘on line’ in Camden in 1991, and has a mercury emissions limit of 1/4 pound per hour, or 600 micrograms per cubic meter, or 6 pounds of mercury per day. NJ set that number based on what they considered to be the average amount of mercury in the wastestream. Foster Wheeler opposed the new Camden County standards. At the moment there are no federal or state standards on mercury emissions. The permit levels for U.S. incinerators are being set incinerator by incinerator. The Foster Wheeler incinerator in Camden had mercury emissions tests done in July 1991, but the State’s Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (name just changed from DEP to DEPE after the Board of Public Utilities and the DEP were merged into one department) has not released them yet. Scott Weiner, Commissioner of the DEPE, has up to 12-18-91 to accept or reject Camden County’s new limits. For a copy of the Freeholders resolution on new health-based mercury emission standard contact: County Freeholder Mark Lohbauer, 12th Floor, Camden City Hall, 520 Market Street, Camden, NJ 08101, Tel: 609-757-4505.

NEW LEAD-LEVEL GUIDELINES: “...U.S. health officials announced a new ‘threshold of concern’ for lead levels in blood, at which communities should launch prevention activities, and lowered the level at which medical treatment should be sought and the source of lead removed...‘New data show that blood-lead levels which were previously believed to be safe are in fact associated with significant adverse effects,’ said Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan in announcing the guidelines yesterday....The new guidelines, issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control...recommend communitywide prevention activities if many children in an area are found to have blood-lead levels of between 10 and 14 micrograms per deciliter, but say there isn’t need for ‘intervention’ if only scattered individuals have blood-lead levels that high...Children with blood-lead levels of 15 through 19 micrograms per deciliter should receive frequent screening for lead and special nutritional and educational attention, the CDC guidelines recommend...Children with blood-lead levels of 20 micrograms per deciliter should be ‘medically evaluated’ and the source of their lead exposure should be removed, according to the new guidelines...” Wall Street Journal, 10-8-91, page B-4.

Corporate environmental advertising: Making the Polluters the Good Guys

“Hold the Applause! A case study of corporate environmentalism as practiced at DU PONT”

Available for $5 from: Friends of the Earth, 218 D Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

Friends of the Earth (FOE) have just published an excellent and well referenced case study on America’s biggest corporate polluter DU PONT and their corporate advertising. Fearful that corporate advertising “if not confronted, could confuse, distort, and ultimately trivialize the public’s perception of the environmental crisis we all face” FOE was obviously propelled to react after Du Pont’s highly successful and heartwarming TV-commercial, known as Applause. This TV-ad creates a fabulous environmental image for Du Pont. The commercial uses Beethoven's Ode to Joy as a backdrop to scenes of magnificent dophins leaping in the air, pink flamingoes in flight, barking seals and penguins clapping their fins over DuPont’s announcement that it would ‘pioneer’ the use of double-hulled oil tankers in order to safeguard the environment. After the Valdez spill, who wouldn’t cheer. But is this the company we want to cheer?

Du Pont vs. Four Major Chemical Companies - 1989

Total Sales (millions$) Total TRI * Discharge (lbs.) #TRI facilities

Dow Chemical $17,730 23,883,498 337

Union Carbide $ 8,744 26,498,030 345

W.R. Grace $ 6,115 14,671,819 186

PPG Industries $ 5,825 11,340,635 175

4-Company Totals: $38,414 76,393,982 1,043

DU PONT $35,209 348,396,181 819 _

* Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data are unaudited estimates supplied voluntarily by the companies themselves

and covers only a small fraction of all chemicals - 321 of the roughly 60,000 in use today.

“...What Applause artfully disguises is the fact that Du Pont...is a heavy-duty, industrial-strength, round-the-clock polluter. Whenever Applause can be found running joyously amok for 30 seconds of unfettered airtime, Du Pont can be found creating untelivised havoc for some part of the planet...At a time when more and more consumers are making marketing decisions on the basis of a company’s environmental reputation, this kind of advertising has to be seen, and critiqued, for what it really is: a marketing device designed to bolster consumer loyalty by reinforcing the notion that the sponsor is environmentally clean. In that sense Applause represents a very serious distortion of fact.” FOE’s report takes us on an information tour of Du Pont’s hazardous waste incinerators in La Place, LA, and Deepwater, NJ., and presents some very good information on deep-well injection, of which Du Pont is the leader of the corporate pack. In 1989, the latest year for which data are available, Du Pont injected 254.9 million pounds of toxic wastes into underground geologic formations - more waste than most Fortune 500 companies generate in total each year. The report covers Du Pont’s fascinating history of manufacturing CFCs and their shameless work to genetically alter crops (!) so to insure continued profits for their their pesticide and herbicide division.


29 minutes. Available free for cable TV broadcast.

Your local cable company can request it from: Mr. Jerry Barnes, Exec. Dir., Springfield Cable Endowment, 31 Elm Street, Suite 231, Springfield, MA 01103. Tel: 413-733-0121

For individual copies send $25 to Charlie Spencer, 107 Jensen Circle, West Springfield, MA 01089

Important, Exciting, Professional and Educational - you will want to see it. In the short span of 29 minutes Charlie Spencer, the producer and director of American Waste brings home the message: “We must reverse the bio-accumulation of toxics in our environment.” Some of the people interviewed are: *Dr. Gary Moore of the U. of Massachusetts who talks about a constituent in common plastic food wraps, vinylidene dichloride, which has mutagenic, toxic, carcinogenic and adverse reproduction effects. *John Courcier, environmental engineer with USEPA: “If you pick out the things safe to burn you might not have much of a waste stream left over...when you get down to it, there may be actually nothing that is safe to burn.” *Ed Neal, representative for Superior Printing Ink Co., talks about the heavy metals in printing inks, ie., cobalt, manganese, chemicals, pigments, varnishes, resins. *Dr. Barry Commoner: “...an incinerator that burns trash literally synthesizes dioxins as it operates...” *Dianne Mulhern, who lives in close proximity to a trash incinerator had her young child’s hair analyzed for heavy metals. Dianne tells us that the hair samples tested were high in cadmium, aluminum and lead. *Dr. Barry Nelson, MD, states: “I think that people who live next to incineration facilities are at possible risk for heavy metal over-exposure.” *USEPA toxicologist Marybeth Smuts, talks about the effects of heavy metals. There are several interviews with the managers and users of large and small recycling centers, that handle the full range of recyclables, to an exciting community household hazardous waste program that operates on a monthly basis. Excellent for local cable TV stations.

WASTE NOT # 168 A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US45; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.