Sunday, September 4, 2011

Research on Titan

Yesterday, I was on the Tony McGhee show and I knew we were going to talk about Titan, so I had to do some research.

I knew I was against it, but I hadn't really done too much research, as it's not really a city issue, but since I was going to be on the show I figured I should.

What I found only reinforced my beliefs, although I admittedly didn't look on the Carolinas Cement page.  I suppose I should have, but I had a limited amount of time and what I found seemed overwhelmingly conclusive.

This is pretty much all from the Stop Titan webpage.  Forgive me for not giving direct links for each one, but these are really just my notes for the interview, and everything can be found in one way or another on the Stop Titan page.
* In 2009, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing reductions in particulate matter (PM) air pollution accounted for as much as 15% of the overall increase in life expectancy in the study areas. Titan will increase our county’s PM pollution by more than 30%. New Hanover County already has some of the highest PM pollution in the state.

* Reductions in PM2.5 concentration in 51 metropolitan areas were correlated with significant increases in life expectancy - New England Journal of Medicine

* Titan America (also known as Carolinas Cement Company) plans to operate one of the largest, coal-burning cement plants in the nation within five miles of area schools attended by more than 8,500 students.

* In Florida, Titan’s mining operation was suspected of contaminating Miami’s drinking water supplies with benzene, a known carcinogen.

* [With the plant] New Hanover County [will have] the 2nd highest mercury emissions in North Carolina.

* Babies born each year with cord blood concentrations of mercury >5.8 μg/L, the level above which mercury exposure has been shown to reduce IQ: 637,233

* A nationwide study of blood samples in 1999– 2000 showed that 15.7% of women of childbearing age have blood mercury levels that would cause them to give birth to children with mercury levels exceeding the EPA’s maximum acceptable dose for mercury.
* Unborn children are at greatest risk from low-level exposure to methylmercury. Recent research suggests that prenatal effects occur at intake levels 5-10 times lower than that of adults.

* Best estimates to date suggest that human activities have about doubled or tripled the amount of mercury in the atmosphere, and the atmospheric burden is increasing by about 1.5 percent per year.

* Studies of sediment cores show that younger sediments deposited since industrialization have mercury concentrations that are about 3-5 times that of historical sediments

* About 123 miles of rivers and streams and 82 miles of coastline in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties are considered impaired because of high mercury levels in certain fish species, according to the most recent state data, from 2006.

* They would emit 44x more Mercury than the Roanoke plant.

* For every 1000 pounds of industrial release of Mercury, there was a corresponding 2.6% increase in autism rates.  This means that Titan would increase autism rates .7% every year because the plant is going to release 263 lbs of Mercury.

* In 1990, 6.2 of every 10,000 children born in the state were diagnosed with autism by the age of five, compared with 42.5 in 10,000 born in 2001, according to the study, published in the journal Epidemiology. [...]California's sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors' diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported Thursday.

* From 2002 to 2006 autism rates increased 59%.

* The plant would increase carbon monoxide by 22% in NH County.

* Mercury by 27% in NH County, bringing us from 4th highest county to 2nd.

* Ammonia by 39% in NH County, bringing us from 9th to 7th.

* Benzene by 91% in NH County, bringing us from 6th to 2nd.

* Increases in production have not brought new jobs (pg. 8)

* This study [on particulate matter] was reviewed by Science magazine and clearly shows that death rates in the 90 largest U.S. cities rise by 0.5 percent with only a tiny increase – 10 micrograms (mcg) per cubic meter -- in particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter. [...]The combined long-term effect of studies in several large cities predicts 60,000 deaths each year caused by particulate matter

* 33 states have issued fish consumption advisories because of mercury contamination, including N.C.

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