ALERT:Medical/pathological waste incinerator that does not emit dioxins??--LONG

Arlene Allen aasap at erols.com
Fri Aug 30 02:54:10 EST 1996


We don't believe that medical/pathological waste incinerator that 
operated without a working scrubber for years less than 700' from an 
infant care center did not emit dioxins, even if they were on the 
property of the National Institutes of Health.  Do You?  NIH plans to 
demolish them and escape all accountability and we have been unable to 
get our elected officials to do what they were elected to do; protect the 
environment and the public health.  PLEASE HELP US!
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PLEASE:  Reproduce this where appropriate

ALERT:  NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH TO DEMOLISH
THE ONLY MPW INCINERATORS IN THE WORLD THAT HAD 
LITTLE OR NO TOXIC EMISSIONS!

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will tear 
down its Medical/Pathological Waste (MPW) incinerators 
at the end of August, before scientists have had the 
opportunity to study how they could incinerate with 
little or no toxic emissions; information that could 
lead to a major change in the science of incineration. 

Alternatively, the incinerators could also have provided 
incriminating evidence that would show that the NIH 
recklessly endangered the environment and the public 
health of their surrounding community when it persisted 
in performing mutagenicity studies despite a burned 
out scrubber.  

Either way, American taxpayers deserves to know if its 
tax dollars are being spent to cover up the misdeeds of 
a federal agency and/or why the study of an MPW incinerator 
that out-performs every other similar MPW incinerator in 
the world, was not reported.   

This is a call to concerned environmentalists to partici-
pate in an e-mail campaign to halt the demolition of three 
medical/pathological waste (MPW) incinerators used in the 
study until they have been tested.
 
The National Institutes of Health burned tons of mixed 
waste in medical/pathological waste incinerators located 
less than 700 feet from an infant care center...EVEN AFTER 
ONE OF THE SCRUBBERS BURNED OUT.  Anyone with any familiarity 
with medical/pathological waste incineration will know that 
the emissions from MPW incinerators yield high levels of 
dioxins as a result of burning chlorinated paper products 
and plastics.  Why was this allowed to occur? 

The NIH has never informed the public about the study nor 
did they take the steps required in order to protect the 
public health during the study, as required.  Instead, 
the NIH used the scrubber burnout as their opportunity to 
pursue a self-serving mutagenicity study!  The incinerator 
continued to burn mixed waste under these conditions for 
several more years.  Indeed, it was only after a strong outcry
from one community group that they were finally turned off.

As a result, the NIH also agreed to a soil characterization, but 
insisted that the protocol and analysis be conducted, reviewed 
and approved, by a panel of NIH-SELECTED experts.  Not surprisingly, 
the results indicated that any toxins emitted from the NIH MPW 
incinerators were negligible.  (The nearby infant care center 
continues to operate in the same place, to this day.  
Check it out!)       

If the results of the subject mutagenicity study and the soil 
characterization are, indeed, true, the NIH has the only MPW 
incinerator in the United States--if not in the world--that does 
not emit dioxins!  

According to the study (which started out with good intent but 
apparently took a wrong turn!), the emissions from NIH's MPW 
incinerators were no more toxic than the emissions from burning 
wood.  (See Driver, Jeffrey Howard, Dr.P.H., "Risk assessment of 
medical/pathological waste incineration: Mutagenicity of combustion 
emissions." University of NC at Chapel Hill, 1988.  Order No. 8905697.)   

It seems odd that, in consideration of the uniqueness of this NIH 
"breakthrough," environmental scientists were never informed about 
the potential benefits.  Otherwise, they would have been lining up 
for the opportunity to study the incinerators in order to replicate 
them worldwide!    

If these findings are fact, and not a cover-up for what may be abuses 
of the environment as well as the public trust by a Federal Agency, 
then CONGRESS, THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE GAO, AND THE 
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE EPA, HAVE THE DUTY TO DETERMINE, ONCE AND 
FOR ALL, IF THE NIH MPW INCINERATORS ARE A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE TO 
GUIDE FUTURE MPW INCINERATOR DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH--OR, IF THE NIH 
SHOULD BE PROSECUTED FOR CRIMINAL ACTS.

PLEASE:  CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE 
IMMEDIATELY TO INSIST THAT THE NIH'S MPW INCINERATORS 
WILL BE STUDIED PRIOR TO THEIR BEING DISMANTLED!   

Remember, once the National Institutes of Health tears down 
its MPW incinerators, we will never again have the opportunity 
to study how they achieved the elusive goal of incinerating with 
little or no toxic emissions.

The following list of e-mail addresses may expedite your response: 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
202-224-4751
340 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-6250

<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~stevens/">Ted Stevens, CHAIRMAN</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/roth.html">William V. Roth, Jr.</A>    
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~cohen/">William S. Cohen</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~thompson/">Fred Thompson</A>    
<A HREF="mailto:senator_domenici at domenici.senate.gov">Pete V. Domenici, Jr.</A>     
<A HREF="mailto:senator at cochran.senate.gov">Thad Cochran</A>     
<A HREF="mailto:senator_mccain at mccain.senate.gov">John McCain</A>
<A HREF="mailto:opinion at smith.senate.gov">Bob Smith</A>     

<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/glenn.html">John Glenn</A>      
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/nunn.html">Sam Nunn</A>      
<A HREF="mailto:senator at levin.senate.gov">Carl Levin</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/pryor.html">David Pryor</A>
<A HREF="mailto:senator_lieberman at lieberman.senate.gov">Joseph I. Lieberman</A>    
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/akaka.html">Daniel K. Akaka</A>   
<A HREF="mailto:senator at dorgan.senate.gov">Byron L. Dorgan</A>


GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC  2051
202-225-5051; FAX: 202-225-4784
http://www.house/gov/reform/

William Clinger, Jr., CHAIRMAN   
Thomas M. Barrett (WI)
Charles Bass (NH)
Peter Blute (MA)       
Bill Brewster (OK)
Dan Burton (IN)
Dick Chrysler (MI)    
Barbara-Rose Collins (MI)
Cardiss Collins (IL)
Gary A. Condit (CA)
Elijah Cummings (MD)   
Thomas Davis (VA) 
Robert Ehrlich (MD)
Chaka Fattah (PA)      
Michael Flanagan (IL)              
Benjamin Gilman (NY)
Gene Green (TX)   
Gil Gutknecht (MN)
Dennis Hastert (IL)   
Tim Holden (PA)    
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)           
Steve Horn (CA)   
Paul Kanjorski (PA)
Tom Lantos (CA)
Steve LaTourette (OH) 
Carolyn B. Maloney (NY)
Bill Martini (NJ) 
John M. McHugh (NY)   
Dave McIntosh (IN)
Carrie Meek (FL) 
John L. Mica (FL)      
James Moran (VA)  
Constance Morella (MD)  
Major R. Owens (NY)               
Collin C. Peterson (MN)     
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Mark Sanford (SC)    
Steven H. Schiff (NM) 
John Shadegg (AZ)   
Christopher Shays (CT) 
Louise Slaughter (NY)
Mark Souder (IN)
John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC) 
Randy Tate (WA) 
Karen L. Thurman (FL)           
Edolphus Towns (NY)                                     
Henry A. Waxman (CA)
Robert Wise (WV)                          

COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
202-224-6176
410 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510-6175

<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/chafee.html">John H. Chafee, CHAIRMAN</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~warner/">John W. Warner</A>
<A HREF="mailto:opinion at smith.senate.gov">Bob Smith</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/faircloth.html">Lauch Faircloth</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~kempthorne/">Dirk Kempthorne</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~inhofe/">James Inhofe</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~thomas/">Craig Thomas</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~mcconnell/">Mitch McConnell</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/bond.html">Christopher S. Bond</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~bennett/">Robert F. Bennett</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~baucus/">Max Baucus</A><BR>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/moynihan.html">Daniel Patrick Moynihan</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~lautenberg/">Frank R. Lautenberg</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~reid/">Harry Reid</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~graham/">Bob Graham</A>
<A HREF="mailto:senator_lieberman at lieberman.senate.gov">Joseph I. Lieberman</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~boxer/">Barbara Boxer</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/wyden.html">Ron Wyden</A>      

SELECT COMMITTEE ON ETHICS
202-224-2981
220 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-6425

<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/mcconnell.html">Mitch McConnell, CHAIRMAN</A>
<A HREF="mailto:opinion at smith.senate.gov">Bob Smith</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~craig/">Larry E. Craig</A>
<A HREF="mailto:senator at dorgan.senate.gov">Byron L. Dorgan</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/senator/~reid/">Harry Reid</A>
<A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/~murray/">Patty Murray</A>

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
The Honorable John C. Martin, Inspector General
202-260-3137
401 M Street, S. W. 
Washington, D.C. 20460
Hotline Number: 1-800-424-4000; 202-260-4977       


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