Issue Date: June 4, 2007
An article in the April 16 issue has the erroneous headline "Texas Firm Will Treat Nerve Agent" (page 10). In fact, what is to be treated is the hydrolysate from the destruction of nerve agent VX. The text appears to be correct in that it does not mention the shipment of nerve agent, but rather shipping the hydrolysate. If nerve agent remains in the hydrolysate it is at a concentration less than 20 ppb, as stated, which is the so-called drinking water level.
As a subcontractor, I managed the laboratory at the agent incineration plant at Johnston Atoll and was alternately amazed, amused, and incredulous at the lengths the Army went to make the whole process safe for the workers and for the environment. To do this, and to combat the mostly foolish protests of environmental groups, is costly to the taxpayers in the extreme.
An erroneous headline such as this only fans the flames and harms the effort to safely rid the world of chemical weapons.
Nollie F. Swynnerton
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society