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Re: question

  Charlie Cray wrote:
  > There's another source:
  > Hg from chlorine production or use as a catalyst in VCM processes
  > such as the one used by Borden in Geismar, LA, which shipped mercuric
  > chloride to South Africa's Thor facility, which has contaminated the
  > area (so badly that even the US Justice Dept is involved in a
  > yet-to-be resolved case).  PPG in Lake Charles also uses tremendous
  > amounts of mercury, which has shown up inlocal fish in the Calcasieu
  > Estuary.
  You brought out several good points, however I'd like to reiterate that you
  can't "make" Hg, it has to come from somewhere.  If the plant is using mercury
  in any of its processes, it will be listed in public documents in all
  applicable regulatory agencies - no way to avoid it in the USA, Canada, and
  Europe.  Susan's friend may have several concerns - increased Hg levels in
  waterways or a Hg signature in an ambient monitoring station, or a notation
  that it appeared in an emission test record.  In any case, if the Hg is
  actually being used in the facility for batch processing, you can find out
  easily (its use is HEAVILY regulated).  If the amount is small, then it is
  another problem altogether, of which trace contamination becomes a likely
  A not-so-minor note: Almost every chemical plant, or facility that uses
  chemical in bulk, has a head environmental officer who is leary of and paranoid
  over those chemicals that are "dominant" toxics, or have a very high profile,
  such as acids, toxic organics, and things like mercury.  They present a huge
  amount of paperwork in all forms of use and disposal.   Most of them (not all,
  you can always count on a few idiots in charge) don't want to see a mercury
  release any more than their neighbors do.  Whether acknowledged or not, in most
  cases they are the community's first line of defense.  And they face a huge
  catch-22 in this regard in how they treat problems as they crop up between
  loyalty to the company, regard for the community, and belief in the law.  Talk
  to them sometimes, it's an eye opener.
  Sam McClintock