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Note: PVC is a major plastics component of the healthcare (hospital) waste
> The most recent issue of the American Chemical Society's Chemical and
> Engineering News contained a figure about uses of chlorine in the U.S.
> in a news story about a corporate merger. . . . some interesting facts:
> --About 42 % of chlorine used in the U.S. is used for manufacture of
> --About 5% of chlorine use is for bleaching pulp for paper products.
> --About 23% of chlorine use is for manufacture of inorganic chemicals
> (like table salt) and for treating drinking water and waste water.
> (These activities are relatively unlikely to be associated with dioxins
> The reason that chlorine use is interesting for our project is that the
> presence of chlorine is a necessary component for dioxins formation,
> whether in a manufacturing or a combustion process. Many of the dioxins
> release sources on the EPA's national dioxins inventory are associated
> with chlorinated chemical manufacture. I did not realize that such
> manufacture, especially for PVC, was such a large portion of all
> commercial chlorine use.
> Increased environmental levels of chlorine in recent decades are
> associated with chlorinated chemical use, which became a significant
> activity in the middle of this century. "Organic" chlorine uses (those
> where chlorine is part of a carbon-based compound) are more likely than
> "inorganic" chlorine uses (primarily salt-type uses) to cause chlorine
> to be in a chemical form that is toxic to humans or the environment.
> (The exception to this is highly toxic chlorine gas, an "inorganic" form
> of chlorine often used for water disinfection and bleaching [where
> organic chlorine is then formed], but falling out of favor because of
> accident risks and stringent safety planning requirements). As you may
> know, some environmental groups (notably Greenpeace) are calling for a
> phase out of chlorine use--this campaign is aimed primarily at uses that
> result in creation of or environmental releases of organic chlorine
-- Stephanie C. Davis - BFA, MPA Experienced Professional of Healthcare & Non-Residential Waste Programs
Waste Reduction Remedies sm A Multi-Waste Stream, Multi-Material Waste Management Company
1497 Hopkins Street #2D Berkeley CA 94702-1201 Telephone: 510/527-8864 Pacific Time Fax: 510/526-6218 (MUST INCLUDE MY NAME & TELEPHONE #) E-mail: ScD18@WasteReductionRemedies.com
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