US toxic trailsPublished by MAC on 2007-03-18
US toxic trails
18th March 2007
Is it just an example of "Gore bull"? The grand old man of US environmentalism has profited for years from royalites on a zinc mine. Though the mine closed in 2003, he's now asked the new owners to cooperate with the NGO Earthworks and re-open it as an example of "global best practice".
Apparently Al Gore's involvement in mining doesn't worry Earthwork's Steve D'Esposito "in any way, shape or form." This is despite the fact that the mine released 4.1 million pounds of toxics in its last full year of operation (2002) - ranking it among the top two dozen metal mining polluters in the US.
What historically was allmost certainly the most toxic site of all in the US was Rocky Flats, contaminated by a vast range of heavy metals and radionucleides from the production of US nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Now government authorities claim it's been successfully reclaimed - and that a large chunk of it can safely be turned into a wildlife refuge.
It's found in 40% of US "Superfund" (reclamation) sites, is used to plate metals, and in the manufacture of stainless steel. Now - startlingly - a scientists has found that one of the main antidotes to exposure to hexavalent chromium may actually be increasing its deadly impacts.