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Times Beach, Missouri A Toxic Ghost Town

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Presentation on theme: "Times Beach, Missouri A Toxic Ghost Town"— Presentation transcript:

1 Times Beach, Missouri A Toxic Ghost Town
Diogo Cadima Topic ‘E’ – Extra Credit Term Project CET 413

2 Times Beach, Missouri - Introduction Most discoveries have been made as a result of either research, luck, or deadly incidents Most people are not aware of effects of toxic chemicals until something goes wrong, sometimes leading to death Only in these cases do people open their eyes and government agencies get involved

3 Times Beach, Missouri - History of Times Beach Times Beach is located along the Meramec River in Missouri Town founded in 1925 during promotion by the St. Louis Star-Times newspaper First used as summer resort with various luxury homes After great depression became home to low-income citizens and homes Town did not have enough money to pave its dirt roads (23 miles total) and lead to dust problems

4 Times Beach, Missouri - Deadly Incidents - Russell Bliss Town hired local waste hauler named Russell Bliss to oil its dirt roads once a week from 1972 to 1976 Bliss had effectively used this method to control dust in stables High costs of oil in early 70s forced Bliss to look for cheaper alternates, such as waste oil Bliss contracted with Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company (NEPACCO) to dispose of its waste oil and began using it to spray Times Beach’s roads and local stables Bliss was unaware the waste oil contained hexachlorophene used in producing Agent Orange, which contained high levels of dioxin

5 Times Beach, Missouri - Deadly Incidents - Russell Bliss Local horse stable reports the death of 62 horses, with numerous more being reported in the years following. Bliss assured citizens he was only spraying engine oil City finally decides to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 1979 which began an investigation

6 Times Beach, Missouri - Toxic Chemical Testing Employee of NEPACCO confessed to using dioxin in its chemicals EPA immediately begins testing streets of Times Beach and finds high levels of dioxin in soil Dioxin levels were about a hundred times greater then what is considered to be safe

7 Times Beach, Missouri - Toxic Chemical Testing Various environmental companies found various chemicals in the surrounding areas of Times Beach such as: 120PPM of toluene 430PPM of xylene 170PPM of ethyl benzene Food and Drug Administration found dioxin in fix along Meramec River and Romaine Creek, near Times Beach

8 Times Beach, Missouri - Town Evacuation Citizens of Times Beach began reporting numerous miscarriages, diseases and various animal deaths all believed to be associated with Dioxin During the Christmas of 1982, the town received notice to evacuate and relocate all citizens Another fifty surrounding smaller towns ordered to evacuate as a result of dioxin spread caused by floods Incident was the largest exposure to dioxin in US history.

9 Times Beach, Missouri - The Chemical Dioxin Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known to man EPA has strict laws regulating tolerable daily, monthly and annual amounts of human and animal consumption Most common way dioxin enters general population is thru ingestion of contaminated fish, meats and dairy products, making dioxin vehicle-borne Most common sources of exposure to dioxin are: Coal fired utilities Metal smelting industries Diesel trucks Land application of sewage sludge Burning treated wood

10 Times Beach, Missouri Dioxins in every day type environments
- The Chemical Dioxin Dioxins in every day type environments Smoke from cigarettes caused by the chlorine-bleached cigarette papers Various products containing plastics, resins, or bleaches such as food packaging products Although these products contain only small amounts of dioxins, no major health risks can occur. However, accumulation of exposure over time could result in health risks.

11 Times Beach, Missouri - The Chemical Dioxin - Effects of Dioxin
Dioxins and similar compounds in the dioxin family, when ingested, accumulate in fatty tissues. Even small amounts can reach high levels and become dangerous over time One major result of exposure to dioxin is chloracne Sever form of acne Commonly accompanied by sever disfiguration, joint pain, fatigue, headaches, and chronic weakness Chloracne could remain in your body for up to thirty years Exposure to dioxins could also lead to Developmental abnormalities in children’s teeth Cancer Central and peripheral nervous system pathology Thyroid disorders Birth defects Diabetes Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

12 Times Beach, Missouri - Conclusion After the evacuation of Times Beach, it took the government and environmental agencies fifteen years to fully decontaminate the soil with the help of incinerators The area of Times Beach has now been returned to the state of Missouri and converted into park areas Incidents in Times Beach provided citizens and government agencies reasons to implement laws concerning safety practices involving chemical manufacturing and waste disposal of chemical products Long term effects of dioxin in humans and animals is still not fully understood.

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