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Occidental Chemical
TOXIC Emissions in the Greater Pottstown Area

1997 Toxic Release Inventory Facts from EPA

#1 Polluter in Montgomery County
#1 Emitter of Chemicals in Montgomery County
#1 Contributor to Cancer Hazards in the County
#1 Total Toxic Air Emissions in the County
#1 Stack Emissions to Air in Montgomery County
#6 Fugitive Emissions into Air in the County
#2 Dumping Toxics Down the Drain in the County

Over 31,000 people live within a 2 mile radius of Occidental. Toxic Air Emissions expose people through inhalation, skin and eye absorption, and ingestion. These toxic air emissions jeopardize the Schuylkill River. Outdoor activities in nearby parks and playgrounds could become hazardous to our health from these toxic emissions.

1997 TRI Facts – Toxic Emissions into our AIR for 1 Year

VINYL CHLORIDE – 120,000 lbs. Into Our Air

  • Top 10% of most hazardous chemicals to human health and ecosystems
  • #1 Cancer Risk in Montgomery County
  • Health Effects of Vinyl Chloride Exposure: Liver Damage, Immune Reactions, Nerve Damage, Reproductive Damage
  • Occidental is the only listed emitter of Vinyl Chloride in Montgomery County.
Vinyl Chloride is 10 to 20 times higher than EPA health benchmarks in parts of Montgomery and Delaware Counties.

Occidental’s 1997 TRI data – Additional TOXIC AIR Emissions

AMMONIA59,000 lbs.
VINYL ACETATE38,000 lbs.
METHANOL2,450 lbs.

DIOXINMassive undetermined amounts of DIOXIN are the most dangerous emissions from Occidental. DIOXIN is not reported to TRI.

BENZENE EQUIVALENTS – 180,000 lbs. Into Our Air
This does not mean Occidental emits Benzene – It means that what Occidental does emit can cause us the same adverse health impacts as that much Benzene.
  • Occidental is the #1 emitter of Benzene Equivalents in Montgomery County
  • Health Effects of Benzene Exposure: Leukemia and other cancers, Hodgkin’s Disease, Lymphomas, Immune System Damage (increases chances for infections); Male Reproductive Toxicity identified in a California study
  • Symptoms of Benzene Exposure: headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, tremors, confusion, excessive bleeding
TOLUENE EQUIVALENTS – 14,000,000 lbs.

Total Air and Water Releases from Occidental, according to the Environmental Defense Scorecard
This does not mean Occidental emits Toluene. It means that what Occidental does emit can have the same adverse health effects as that much Toluene.
  • Living, working, or traveling near emissions affects a person’s daily exposure
  • These hazardous substances enters our bodies through our skin, eyes, or contaminated food or water
  • They can stay in our bodies for a long time.
  • Main Harmful Health Effects of Toluene Exposures: NERVOUS SYSTEM – Long-term exposure linked with permanent brain damage. Animal studies show – harmful effects on liver, kidneys, and lungs
  • Symptoms of Toluene Exposures: memory loss, confusion, fatigue, general weakness, drunken-type actions, nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, unconsciousness, loss of muscle control and balance, reduced scores on psychological tests, vision, hearing, and speech problems

Occidental “Superfund” Facts
Chemicals which contaminated groundwater and wells on site.

TCE, VOC’s, Xylene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, 1,2 Dichloroethylene Heavy Metals which contaminated on-site wells – Arsenic, Chromium

These TOXIC chemicals can have a variety of adverse health effects from exposure to them by INHALATION, DERMAL CONTACT, and INGESTION.

Occidental’s Superfund site is considered a potential public health concern.
  • Groundwater and wells on site have been contaminated. There is the potential for off site contamination.
  • About 14,500 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the site.
Occidental is as close as 300 feet from the Schuylkill River, is bordered on three sides by the Schuylkill River, and in the 100 year flood plain of the Schuylkill River.

Dioxin Exposure
Occidental Chemical in Pottstown
  • Occidental Produces PVC – The Poison Plastic
  • PVC Plastic Production is one of the Greatest Sources of DIOXIN Trouble from PVC starts when it is subjected to high temperatures during production, use, and disposal.
  • PVC plastic production is getting into our bodies, and the health problem is not only cancer

EPA says most people are saturated with Dioxin from their food, but those like us, who are forced to breathe it, get a double dose. EPA says that people who live near sources of Dioxin should consider that inhalation may be an important hazard for them.
  • Dioxin is produced by Occidental when high temperatures are used to make their poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.
  • This Dioxin gets into our AIR, then our water and soil, then our food chain.
  • Dioxin can exhibit serious health effects at parts PER TRILLION in your body
  • Dioxin attaches to a protein in the cell and ACCUMULATES in the fat cells
  • Dioxin is passed on to children - our babies are born with Dioxin in their bodies
  • Our bodies have no defense against Dioxin. It is not metabolized by humans.
Harmful Health Effects of DIOXIN
  • Potent Cancer Causing Agent
  • Powerful Hormone-Disrupting Chemical
  • May lead to Small Penis Sizes and Low Sperm Count
  • Linked to Miscarriages and Reproductive Disorders
  • Linked to Birth Defects and Low Birth Weight
  • Causes Learning Disabilities
  • Short Term Memory, Short Attention Span
  • Damages the Nervous System
  • Damages the Immune System –
      Leading to Increased Infectious Diseases, Asthma, and Allergies

Greater Pottstown Area Residents

P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464

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