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Following up about cadmium zinc sulfide - Input Junkie
October 8th, 2012
04:54 am


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Following up about cadmium zinc sulfide
I posted recently about the US army spraying a poor St. Louis neighborhood with cadmium zinc sulfide, and a possible cancer cluster.

The spraying was
Operation LAC, a nationwide informal experiment[1] to learn something about how wind disperses fine powders. Cadmium zinc sulfide is florescent, which made it easier to see where it landed. Some of it went all the way to Canada.

Powdered cadmium is poisonous, but it's not clear whether the quantities people may have inhaled or ingested were high enough or enough different from background levels to cause cancer or other diseases.

The original link starts off with cancers that were earlier than Operation LAC.

I would be curious to know what neighborhoods were chosen for getting sprayed with cadmium zinc sulfide.

[1] It isn't exactly an experiment, but I'm not sure what to call it. An effort at meticulous exploration?

There some discussion of these matters here, starting with comment 15.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/553086.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
There's a big difference between how poisonous a compound is and how poisonous its constituent elements are. Sodium and chlorine are each quite toxic; sodium chloride, much less so. How poisonous is cadmium zinc sulfide? Does it tend to produce free cadmium?
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Cadmium runs about 0.1 parts per million in coal burned in power stations, and typically about 1% of it will escape the stack and be deposited downwind. The US burns about 800 million tonnes of coal a year so about 800kg of cadmium is dumped on the land around the power station stacks every year, and of course this has been going on for decades.

Mercury's a lot worse -- coal power stations in the US emit about 50 tonnes a year, and again that rate of release has been going on for decades. The EPA wants to reduce this to only 16 tonnes of mercury a year but the coal mining industry abetted by their biggest customers the power generating companies are fighting the planned new regulations tooth and nail. They claim the current administration is engaged in a "War on Coal" although the coal industry has been killing and poisoning Americans for decades without any declaration of hostilities on their part.
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