Thursday, January 5, 2012

Toxic releases edge up in NC

The volume of toxic chemicals N.C. industries released into the air, water or land rose nearly 4 percent in 2010, a federal report said today, ending a four-year trend of declining emissions.

The Toxics Release Inventory is the government's annual account of more than 600 chemicals that industries let go into the environment, mostly into the air. The TRI typically comes out about a year after the chemical releases it summarizes. The chemicals can cause cancer or other illnesses.

What's interesting about 2010 is that, nationally and in the Carolinas, a downward trend in releases stopped. Total U.S. releases rose 16 percent from 2009, to 3.9 billion pounds. North Carolina's went up 3.7 percent, to 66 million pounds, while South Carolina's emissions jumped 19 percent to nearly 60 million pounds.

Metal mining and chemical manufacturing led the increases nationwide. Some sectors, such as the 12 percent drop in releases electric utilities reported, continued to fall.

North Carolina ranked 19th-highest among the states, and South Carolina 21st. Top emitting N.C. counties were New Hanover, Person, Columbus, Beaufort, Catawba, Gaston, Bladen, Haywood, Bertie and Wayne.

Mecklenburg County came in 35th, with 346,570 pounds, but lead the state in releases of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. Dioxins are man-made chemicals, released in minute quantities, that can cause skin rashes, liver damage and reduced immune function. All of the 48 grams reported in 2010 were attributed to the Gerdau Ameristeel steel mill in northern Mecklenburg.


ap said...

Interesting article, but be assured, the operative word in this article is "reported".
Don't be foolish enough to believe these industries report accurate emissions figures. Also, our (so-called) representatives (primarily Republicans) are in cahoots with the biggest polluters.

They are concerned about job growth, but not cancerous growths in the citizenry. The impaired immune and endocrine systems these releases cause are rarely given any credence.
NC is on the verge of being one of the biggest east coast dumps of all time.
Leave it to this current group of racist, greedy NC Republicans to set NC's quality-of-life back at least 50 years. They have no moral or ethical constitution to keep them in check.
Perhaps, when their pre-teen grandchildren start to develop various immune disorders, they'll realize that "economic growth" and "industrial output" is NOT success. And this accelerated trend of toxic emissions will further erode NC's reputation as a nice place to live.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE...or is that another toxic chemical fume we're inhaling?

D.W. Benfield said...

Another example of how North Carolina is becoming more "business-friendly" under our new "Right-sized" Republican House and Senate.

Anonymous said...

As if we didn't have enough to worry about in Mecklenburg County, now we get to breathe in dioxins and worry about what it's doing to us.

arushi said...

Chemicals in air are very harmful though we inhale or externally also , firstly it causes Skin Rashes

monarch said...

Thank you for writing this article. New Hanover County residents are getting a big wake up call with recent news on the issuance of Titan Cement's air permit via DAQ. This article found New Hanover to #1 in toxic emissions and our regulators say its ok for Titan to add over 12 million pounds of MORE pollution to our overburdened air. Friends in Charlotte, vote in leaders who value public health and can see the through the veil of 'job-creation vs. the environment'

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