A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 April 1993

MAY 3-6, 1993:

To be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Registration fee $125. Send to Dr. Howard Frumkin, Emory University School of Public Health, Division of Environmental & Occupational Health, 1599 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Tel: 404-727-3697. Fax: 404-727-8744. For more info: Steve Von Allmen, ATSDR, at 404-639-0708.

Hotel Reservations at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 265 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, Tel: 404-521-0000.

The purpose of the First International Congress on the Health Effects of Hazardous Waste is to promote the exchange of findings, ideas, and recommendations related to the human health effects of hazardous waste. The intended audience includes environmental epidemiologists, toxicologists, health educators, policy makers and health scientists from government, academic settings and industry representatives and interested general public. Session topics include: May 3rd: Exposure; May 4: Health Effects; May 5: Assessment of Exposure and Health Effects; May 6th: Research Needs.

at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.

Conference Registration Fees: $85 for CCHW members; $95 for non-members. Rooms at the Marriott Hotel : 1-800-228-9290.

Send Conference fee to: CCHW, PO Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22040. Tel: 703-237-2249.

This convention is for everyone fighting the waste-for-profit industry and environmental contamination. The last CCHW conference, 4 years ago, was an exhilarating success for networking activists across the U.S., great workshops, buying reports and books not available in the local bookstore, and fun!! CCHW is America’s leading grassroots organization and the founder of the Movement for Environmental Justice. CCHW’s Grassroots Convention will hold 36 workshops, which include: Solid Waste Incineration, Hazardous Waste Incineration, Health Effects, Sludge, Community Recycling Centers, Pesticides, Contaminated Sites, Sham Recycling, Landfills, Military Environmental Hazards, Deepwell Injection, Medical Waste, Lead, Chemical Sensitivity, Risk Assessment, Environmental Laboratory Testing, Research techniques, Legal Strategies, Environmental Racism and Building Bridges, Nuclear Waste, Fundraising, Actions and Tactics, International Waste Connections, Health Surveys, and more. Those leading the workshops are knowledgeable activists from across the U.S. We assume that our readers are members of CCHW and receive their excellent publications Everyone’s Backyard and Environmental Health Monthly.

11 A.M. in Alpena, Michigan

Sponsored by the
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 583 of Alpena & Vietnam Veterans of America of Michigan.

For more information contact Robert Cummings at 517-354-2403 (day) or 517-471-2433 (evening)

An all day event with speakers, including George Claxton, National Chairman of the Agent Orange Committee of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Last year’s rally attracted 250 people. Larry Butcher of the Vietnam Veterans Michigan Council wrote this to us on 3-30-93: “...When we were young kids, fresh out of high school and our government called us to arms, we were told we were preserving freedom and democracy and we believed. Little did we know that we were beginning on a long journey of betrayal and deceit...We have a very high cancer rate, but the saddest thing of all is that our children are being born with birth defects. They are the innocent victims...I invite you to come to Alpena, Michigan on May 15, 1993 and visit with Vietnam veterans and their children and see first hand the results of Operation Ranch Hand [the spraying of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange in Vietnam]...on May 16, 1993, the Vietnam Veterans of America Michigan State Council will be holding the State Council meeting in Alpena. Invitations are being sent out to all veterans organizations located in the United States, Canada and Australia to come and participate in the second of many rallies...” Bob Cummings, the local coordinator for the Dioxin Rally, has designed the Agent Orange flag, dedicated to Vietnam Veterans who died of Agent Orange Exposure. This proceeds from the sale of the flag will go to the Children of Vietnam Vets with Birth Defects.

3 x 5 FLAG: “Agent Orange/Dioxin Kills” ........ $45

T--SHIRTS, “Agent Orange/Dioxin Kills”.........$12, sizes Small to Triple X

Send check to: Robert Cummings, Agent Orange Flag Committee, l0853 Ossineke Road, Ossineke, Michigan 49766.


Report (19 pages) available for $5 from
Greenpeace, (Lisa Finaldi), 16 N Boyland Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603. Tel 919-828-5202.
or Greenpeace (Bob Edwards), 5 Baker’s Row, London ECIR 3DB, U.K. Tel: 44-71- 833-0600.

The major U.S. manufacturers of PVC feedstocks -- vinyl chloride and ethylene dichloride --



Their production facilities are located in TEXAS, LOUISIANA & KENTUCKY.

“Poly Vinyl Chloride, PVC or simply ‘vinyl’, is the second most common plastic accounting for a fifth of world consumption. It is used in a wide variety of applications; in packaging -for mineral water bottles, tubs, boxes and film; in consumer articles such as credit cards, records, toys; in construction for window frames, doors, walls, panelling, pipes and gutters; around the home in vinyl flooring, wallpaper, venetian blinds, shower curtains; in the office for furniture, binders, folders, pens; in the car industry especially as underseal, used in hospitals for medical disposables, used in cable and wire insulation, for imitation leather, for garden furniture...it is everywhere and responsible for displacing more ecologically compatible materials such as wood, ceramics and glass from consumer choice. Although common, this plastic causes more environmental degradation through its entire life cycle than any other because it is intrinsically linked to the production of chlorine. Approximately 30% of the worlds annual total production of chlorine (about 18 million tonnes) --is now used to produce PVC. PVC can contain as much as 60% chlorine by weight, the remaining contents are ethylene (from oil) and additives many of which are toxic...PVC on its own is almost useless as a plastic, it needs additives to make it malleable, heavy metals such as cadmium and lead to protect it against heat and light, biocides to stop bacteria and fungal growth...” Greenpeace has analysed studies on actual and possible emissions from factories manufacturing Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM), the raw materials of Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). The studies relate to four facilities - Akzo, Rotterdam on the Rhine in the Netherlands, Norsk Hydro Rafnes in Norway, Solvay’s Rheinberg plant on the Rhine in Germany and Norsk Hydro (Hydro Plast) in Stenungsund, Sweden. The Greenpeace Report documents newly uncovered evidence of a disturbing pattern of high levels of dioxin and other chlorine-based chemicals (chlorinated furans/benzenes/butadienes) in the waste tars, water effluents, and air emissions from chemical plants in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. The largest quantities of dioxin are in the waste tars, which are often burned in incinerators. Dioxin is also produced in large quantities when PVC is burned, either in accidental fires or in incinerators. Dioxin production at the European plants ranged from 3 to 400 grams of dioxins per 100,000 tons of feedstocks produced (expressed in terms of toxicity of the most toxic dioxin, 2,3,7,8-TCDD). If these production trends hold worldwide, then each year PVC-feedstock plants worldwide would produce 540 to 72,000 grams of dioxin, or about 200 to 24,000 grams in the U.S. These annual quantities of dioxin are equivalent to the World Health Organization’s annual maximum dose of dioxin for 8.1 billion people, and equivalent to the U.S. EPA’s maximum acceptable lifetime dose for 18.6 billion people. These quantities would likely make PVC the largest known source of dioxin on the planet. Important other dioxin sources include incinerators burning chlorinated waste, paper mills that use chlorine to bleach paper white, and chemical plants producing other chlorinated products.

LOCAL ACTIVIST IN TEXAS ON HUNGER STRIKE AGAINST EXPANSION OF PVC PRODUCING PLANT: URGENT ACTION NEEDED. As we were going to press we received the following 4-28-93 Alert from Peter Montague: “Diane Wilson, a member of a fourth-generation fishing family and a well-known0 grass-roots activist along the Gulf Coast, began a hunger strike 14 days ago...Wilson began her strike after the Texas Water Commission issued a permit to Formosa Plastics Corporation (see above) to discharge up to 15 million gallons of heavily polluted water into Lavaca Bay at Point Comfort, Texas. Formosa Plastics is currently building a $1.3 billion expansion of its present plant at Point Comfort...Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and local activists have criticized the Environmental Impact Study for failing to consider large amounts of dioxin that will be emitted as a byproduct of PVC production...Please write a quick note to Texas Governor Ann Richards, State Capitol, Austin, Texas 78701. The Governor’s fax number is 512-463-1975. Please urge the Governor to withdraw Formosa’s Wastewater Permit...”

WASTE NOT # 236. 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 $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.