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marine chlorine Q.; more on VC
our regional rr, MT RailLink, the 2nd worse safety record class C RR in
the nation, had yet another "oops" on monday (their 8th major derailment in
western MT since their all-but-the-largest u.s. release of Cl2 gas 18
months ago near Alberton, MT). This time it was a 107 car runaway,
intentionally derrailed @ 40+ mph. no catastrophic releases, sheer good
luck most of the tankers were empty & unpressurized (tho 1 full chlorine
gas tanker, reportedly). there were reports of a minor Cl2 leak. such a
train, fully loaded & at speed, carries the energy of a major thermonuclear
device, according to the recent A&E 'investigative reports' documentary
that highlighted the worst class C carrier, Wisconsin Central (?). They
are famous for a release of benzene causing the too-late evacuation of
Superior, WI. WC blew up a propane tanker, as i recall, the same day of
the Alberton spill.
anyway, one media report said some tankers were carrying "marine chlorine"
anyone know what this is?
btw, the runaway monday apparantly carried a tanker placarded w/ vinyl
chloride (ID # 1086, w/ an orange flammable or combustable category 3
placard)--VC is a gas above 7d F, and is packed into tanker cars under
pressure but does not dissipate rapidly if released). VC can cause cancer
in the lab *AT* the OSHA PEL/"safe" level) of 1 ppm, according to epstein's
_the politics of cancer_. VC is a multisite, multiple site of dosing,
potent human carcinogen; a neurotxin, and a liver & kidney toxin; inter
alia. epstein says PVC used to have up to 1% unreacted VC in it. [that
reminds me of old batches of 2,4,5-T herbicide, which had 1% (!!!) total
PCDD/F--that's 10 trillion parts per quadrillion total ccd/f!]
as to the odor question on dioxin-l, epstein says: "..complaints of an
unpleasant taste in Schenley Distillers bottles found 10-20 ppm [VC in the
booze in the PVC bottles]". NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chem Haz's describes VC
as "having a pleasant odor at high thresholds" ('high', relative to what?
). In a complex PVC environment, I don't know what the smell that's been
discussed is, but note the "pleasant" in the pure VC, and the "unpleasant"
in the complex booze environment).
Tony Tweedale (Causality is a concept not subject to empirical
demonstration. -David Hume)