Volume 85 Issue 15 | p. 5 | Letters
Issue Date: April 9, 2007

Arsenic in Katrina's wake

Department: Letters

FROM THE SCIENCE & Technology Concentrate describing debris from Hurricane Katrina, one could easily infer that there is about 1,740 metric tons of free-floating arsenic in our southern landfills just waiting for the next flood to distribute it at will (C&EN, Feb. 12, page 69). Fortunately, such is not the case.

This arsenic, as well as the other toxic chemicals, is firmly locked inside the treated wood cells and could remain there for multiple decades, if not centuries, provided this refuse is left undisturbed. We do not need to unduly and recklessly alarm the public about a nonexistent problem and possibly create media frenzy on this or any other chemical subject.

J. M. Blizzard
Greensburg, Pa.

 
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