The Alliance For A Clean Environment
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Louise Simon

"For over 20 years I lived 1/4 mile downwind, directly across the Schuylkill River from Occidental Chemical in Pottstown. I believe I became a victim of Occidental Chemical's vinyl chloride emissions."

"My entire quality of life was destroyed by Occidental's fumes of vinyl chloride. I was forced against my will to breathe in poisonous fumes on a daily basis, that I felt would eventually be the death of me if I did not get away. I did have a cat and dog die of lymphoma shortly after Occidental's bad accidental release in November, 2000."

With all the terrorism of 911, I have lived through with I believe is serious terrorism too. I consider Occidental Chemical emissions to be chemical warfare. I faced this chemical warfare every day when I lived 1/4 mile downwind from Occidental Chemical, too sick to get out of bed to even do anything about it at times.

People who live near Occidental, although some are unaware, are already experiencing slow chemical warfare. What else is chemical warfare but being poisoned with hazardous chemicals? This isn't much different than being sprayed with Agent Orange.

Many of my neighbors had cancer, chronic sinus infections and flu like symptoms, etc. Many of their pets also suffered and died. I believe breathing continuous doses of Occidental's vinyl chloride and dioxins, whether high or low, are gradually destroying everyone's immune systems who live within several miles of Occidental. This is a gradual breakdown of the body. Many people aren't even aware. They think they just have chronic colds, sinus infections, etc. or run down feeling.

Vinyl Chloride affects people in many different ways. After my experience, living near Oxy, I believe vinyl chloride attacks people in the similar way that pesticides attack bugs. Pesticides don't always kill bugs right away, they go into spasms, etc. before they eventually die. It attacks the central nervous system. I couldn't remember anything, I got agitated, and developed muscle spasms and twitches.

Most people don't think about it, but landing on the skin, the vinyl chloride can go through the body, just like patches for cigarette smoking or estrogen, etc. Just how much vinyl chloride is taken in through our nose into our lungs, then through the rest of our bodies? NO ONE KNOWS! I believe breathing in vinyl chloride can go right to the brain, the same as snorting cocaine. It dumbs down the brain. I believe vinyl chloride caused me to get brain fog and go into severe confusion day after day. I could not even think about how to escape when emissions were really bad. I just went to bed. Other times when I got away fast enough my mind got clear. Now that I have moved, these symptoms have gone away.

If the vinyl chloride exposure isn't bad enough, then there is Occidental's serious DIOXIN THREAT! It's about time to make the zone around Occidental a DIOXIN FREE ZONE, just like no smoking zones and no drug zones.

I feel DEP is no better than the terrorists, if they allow us to continue to be exposed to dioxin, knowing the devastation of it on our health. If we know dioxin is such an extremely hazardous substance in minutes doses and that it never leaves our body, why does DEP think it is ok to let Occidental poison us with ANY amount of dioxin every day.

It is disgraceful that DEP does not monitor, nor test, for dioxin at Occidental, a PVC plant. Just how much dioxin are we forced to breathe in every day from Occidental? NO ONE KNOWS!

EPA says people living near sources of dioxin are at far greater risk than the average population. PVC production is a know major source of dioxin, yet our protective agencies, DEP nor EPA doe anything to stop it or help us.

"It's frustrating! DEP is unresponsive and unprotective."

"The Bucket Brigade" gives us a way to actually know how much vinyl chloride is poisoning our air and bodies at any given time. Maybe that will force Occidental to emit less and be more responsible!

No more waiting DAYS AFTER a major vinyl chloride release from Occidental for a DEP employee to show up and 'SNIFF' or try to tell you there is no problem! That is ridiculous! Besides the obvious, DEP shows up in the day when Occidental's emissions are barely detectable. I have actually video footage to show the difference day and night emissions, which I also gave to DEP.

I am really glad "Blue Vinyl" is calling attention to the devastation that people who live around vinyl chloride plants like Occidental Chemical in Pottstown, are forced to face every day.

P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464

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