Environmental hazards

Because those who are standing in a large clean after the tornado, nature Joplin, experts say the environmental risks that may lurk in the middle of a hill in the southwest Missouri town of garbage, and even water and air.

hurricane damage, such as floods and hurricanes, exceeding often easily visible. Liquid fuels and chemicals can not escape from containers ruptured and contaminate groundwater. ruined buildings could contain asbestos. Fires can produce soot smoke contains dioxins and other contaminants. Residential, industrial and medical waste filled about.

After 22 hours of the original May, Twister, the smell of gasoline in service stations was about more flattened. A huge fire burned for hours near the wreckage of the Centre in St. John’s Regional Medical. Flash flooding caused by torrential rains, possible contamination of local waterways.

But the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency sent to assess the damage turned into no serious pollution problems in the first week, even to find, “said spokesman Chris Whitley.

“Before the systematic analysis of the area affected by the tornado has been completed, it is impossible to accurately assess the risk level or in response to environmental priorities,” he said in an e-mail.

China’s deadliest tornado unique in more than six decades packed winds of over 200 km / h and measured by more than half a mile. It has killed at least 132 people and injured more than 900 seriously injured and many buildings and countervailing urban industrial corridor, which includes chemical suppliers, paint manufacturers and gas. It is estimated that 8,000 structures were destroyed.

Briefly, anhydrous ammonia leak valve Jasper Products sealed by the truck traffic in hazardous materials team enterprise society. If not, the EPA Emergency Response Team combed the area last week found no significant release toxic after examining 40 sites, the coordinator Eric Nold said.

“If the publication is to shout, to find it now,” he said. He looked at the two-man team of meters reservoirs, treatment plants, sewage and other potential sources of pollution.

“Because the size of a tornado, chemical spill could have been much worse position,” said Nold more cracking metalworking bulldozers nearby.

Many companies send teams in response to the disaster area of ??the environment.

Other places have been destroyed at the hospital and to explore the west of Jasper County Environmental Fund greased years of lead and zinc. The tornado left a heap of mining waste, but hit the nearby village, where the layer of clean soil above the contaminated soil in 1995 and 2002, Whitley said.

Owners and emergency responders are advised to exercise caution in areas where wastes, “he said. Exposure to lead occurs primarily through ingestion of contaminated soil, dirty hands – especially dangerous for children – and inhalation of contaminated dust.

Another risk is the possibility of oil spills from slaughtered transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyls are highly toxic, or PCBs. It was not immediately clear how many had been burned during a storm.

But a spokesman for Southern Co. plant in Alabama on the state’s largest electric utility, reported more than 4,000 transformers were to return after a series of storms last month. Some parents contain small amounts of PCBs, “said spokesman Michael Sznajderman. All were in bags and sent to a recycler licensed, while the oil and dirt fell on Transformers hazardous waste transported to landfill.

Some of the biggest risks to the environment long after a tornado came during treatment, experts said.

Missouri Natural Resources announced last week a temporary exemption from certain regulations for solid waste and air pollution in the counties of Jasper and Newton, where the tornado struck. Move the brush to allow a landfill, yard waste, appliances and other materials that are not normally allowed, but encouraged the recycling equipment. This allows the trees and brush to burn waste under certain conditions.

He also waived the requirement that supervisors of state graduates involved removal of asbestos containing fibers, which can cause respiratory diseases such as cancer. federal asbestos regulations remain in force.

A relaxation of the rules or in an emergency, it is understandable, but due to improper handling, or waste can make a bad situation even worse, “said David Carpenter, director of the Institute of Health and Ministry of Environment University of Albany-SUNY.

If plastic, asbestos coating or loss on ignition of wood brush, they can produce harmful emissions, particularly for asthma or respiratory diseases, “he said.

“I know a lot of waste, dump in the valley just to find a place where you can put on the lid, and it is much wiser than to burn,” said Carpenter. “There are risks health associated with the burning of waste at any time. ”

Some of these storms is clearly generating a limited number of waste should be allowed, “said John Mitchell, Director of Environment Division, Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The fires are allowed after the tornado 2007 wiped Greensburg, Kansas. He said that if it promotes alternative methods of disposal.

It is important to distinguish between different types of waste they can properly disposed of, as some of these landfills are not a suitable material, such as household chemicals, paints and manage forests, “said Mitchell. Missouri Natural Resources to encourage people to recycle and compost plant equipment.

Environmentalists are not bending the rules at the same time.

“The last thing you want to do, when you need to deal with this situation, a lot of permits and paperwork,” said Kathleen Logan Smith, Director of Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

People Joplin area is not the only ones that should be considered contaminated materials, “said John Snow, University of Oklahoma meteorology expert. Studies have shown that a tornado could suck the debris and save up to 200 miles away, “he said.

“It’s kind of underestimated the risk that deserves much more than he has been granted,” Snow said.