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Re: A bit of history, for those new to the anti-dioxin movement

  I understand the Europeans finger sulphur dioxide at quite low ambient
  levels for asthma as well...
  Delores Broten 
  At 11:58 AM 08/08/97 -0400, you wrote:
  >At 01:55 AM 8/8/97 -0400 ,jon@cqs.com  wrote:
  >>Oh, yes, there's a bit of good news that I forgot to
  >>report: after
  >>a 6-year battle, a BFI-owned incinerator in Bronx, N.Y.
  >>was closed
  >>by order of the Governor of New York. 
  >That is good news....medical waste incineration in
  >general is a high impact, high cost alternative for
  >managing medical waste.   The older genre of
  >medical waste incinerators without any acid gas or
  >decent particulate controls are especially nasty.
  >One of the
  >>bits of scientific fallout from this struggle is a
  >>possible linkage
  >>between dioxin-laden particulates and the pandemic of
  >>in the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere, I haven't seen the
  >>from Europe).
  >I doubt there is any connection at all between PCDD/F exposures
  >and causation/aggravation of asthma.   I've never seen a single
  >article even suggesting this in the American Review of Respiratory Disease
  >and Critical Care Medicine, which is the pre-eminent journal
  >in the world on respiratory diseases, including asthma.
  > The operation of this relatively small
  >>waste incinerator - which NEVER had a stack test -
  >Any scientist who would conclusively determine that
  >a community health effect came from a medical
  >waste incinerator on which there was no information 
  >about emissions and therefore no way to 
  >calculate/predict actual exposures would likely be 
  >very quickly blown out of the water.
  > was
  >>by a DOUBLING of asthma visits to hospitals and clinics
  >>and asthma
  >Emissions of hydrochloric acid, fine particulate matter and
  >possibly airborne chromium (a known risk factor for 
  >occupational asthma)  are the more likely cause of any asthma morbidity
  >that was found.
  >Airborne particulate matter doesn't have to contain 
  >any chemical toxicants to exert a toxic effect,
  >particularly on pre-existing asthmatics.
  >Asthma is a disease of chronic and gross  inflamation of the airways
  >of the lung and the resulting sensitization of these tissues
  >to further airborne insults.   Acid aerosals and fine particulate matter have
  >the potential to seriously aggravate such asthmatic conditions
  >by triggering bronchospasm, or a narrowing of the airways
  >of the lung, in persons whose airways are already inflamed
  >because of exposure to allergens, chronic lung infections,
  >exposure to aspirated gastric acids, other occupational/environmental
  >exposures, genetic predisposition or from other factors.
  >Older medical waste incinerators without effective particulate
  >controls are common sources of heavy particulate emissions, particularly
  >when poorly trained hospital personnel jam them full of 
  >waste creating poor combustion conditions.
  >>The possibility that dioxin may be at work in the
  >>asthma pandemic
  >>is interesting as well because we know that diesel
  >>have dioxin molecules clinging to them because
  >>solvents are used in the oil refining process for
  >>diesel fuel.
  >As noted above, I am unaware of any support in the
  >medical literature that PCDD/F in diesel particulate
  >play any role whatsoever in asthmatic responses.
  >If you have such medical literature abstracts,
  >"post 'em if you got 'em"
  >Diesel particulates contribute to asthmatic responses
  >because they are very small and they can be coated
  >with irritating substances that condense on such particles.
  >Diesel particulate is a cancer hazard primarily because
  >it contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are
  >also found in cigarette smoke and coke oven emissions.
  >Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
  >Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
  >PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
  >(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
  Delores Broten, 
  Reach for Unbleached! Foundation,
  Box 39, Whaletown BC Canada V0P 1Z0
  Ph/fax: (250) 935-6992