Trace metals: Unknown, unseen pollution threat
Date1933 Jul 1
Chemical and Engineering News, Vol 49, No 29, P 29-30, 33, Jul 19, 1971 3 P, 2 Fig, 1 Tab
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MANY CHEMICAL COMPANIES ARE NOW CONDUCTING INTERNAL SURVEYS TO HUNT DOWN POSSIBLY HARMFUL TRACE ELEMENTS IN THEIR PROCESSES. DOW CHEMICAL, BASF WYANDOTTE, GEORGIA-PACIFIC, KAISER ALUMINUM AND CHEMICAL, AND WEYERHAEUSER ALL HAVE SUCH SURVEYS UNDER WAY. IN DOW'S CASE, 30 ELEMENTS ARE ON THE CHECK LIST, INDICATING THE DIVERSITY OF TRACE ELEMENTS THAT MAY BE INVOLVED IN TYPICAL CHEMICAL PROCESSES. IN MOST CASES LITTLE IS KNOWN ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS THESE ELEMENTS MAY EXPOSE. THE ELEMENTS ON DOW'S LIST ARE CHROMIUM, CADMIUM, ZINC, ARSENIC, NICKEL, LEAD, ANTIMONY, COPPER, THORIUM, COBALT, RUTHENIUM, SELENIUM, TELLURIUM, BORON, TIN, STRONTIUM, CESIUM, BARIUM, MANGANESE, SILVER, BERYLLIUM, MAGNESIUM, THALLIUM, YTTRIUM, RUBIDIUM, CERIUM, MOLYBDENUM, OSMIUM, VANADIUM, AND BISMUTH. THE TEXAS WATER QUALITY BOARD HAS FOUND THAT 1600 POUNDS PER DAY OF LEAD, 7900 POUNDS PER DAY OF ZINC, 5000 POUNDS PER DAY OF CADMIUM, AND 300 POUNDS PER DAY OF CHROMIUM WERE DISCHARGED PRIMARILY TO THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL IN 1969. THE OBSERVED CONCENTRATIONS WERE GROSSLY IN EXCESS OF THOSE OCCURRING IN NATURE--MORE THAN 63,000 TIMES FOR LEAD, 15 FOR CADMIUM, AND 108,000 FOR CHROMIUM. (WOODARD-USGS)
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