January 15, 2014

NUSBAUM: Dangers will come over time

By E. DanielNusbaum Guest columnist

---- — I want to explain why I think the proposed Pyrolyzer plant is a dangerous idea.

The information I present comes from medical journals, textbooks, and reports by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

I am a board certified neurologist and have practiced medicine for more than 50 years. Some of my patients in Southern California were poisoned by industrial toxins. If the proposed Pyrolyzer LLC plant is built in Logansport, I believe we will all be in danger.

Pyrolyzer LLC plans to bring great quantities of trash and garbage to Logansport each day. Here they plan to sort, process, and then “pyrolyze” it by heating it to a maximum of 403 degrees Fahrenheit to generate fuel for electricity. It will also generate many types of toxic or poisonous fumes and vapors.

Among these poisonous fumes are dioxins, mercury, lead and arsenic.

Pyrolyzer also plans to use great quantities of water to “scrub” the fumes and vapors, but most of these poisons will escape into the air. And their plans to dispose of this poisonous water are very vague. Our rivers, wells, and ground water are threatened.

I want to discuss each of these toxins in turn. This time I will tell you about dioxins.

There are 39 types of dioxins. The worst is called polychlorinated benzodioxin. The World Health Organization says it is the most dangerous of all poisons. This is because of its lethality, wide impact, and permanence.

Dioxins were a component of Agent Orange, infamously used during the Vietnam War and now outlawed.

Dioxins enter your body as you breathe or eat or drink. Once in, you cannot get rid of them. No one can. In adults, we most likely will see more cancers, Alzheimer’s, and other issues. In children, we will undoubtedly see more asthma, more learning disabilities, problems with maturation, and other illnesses. In babies, we will almost certainly see more deformed and retarded infants, and more still-births. In all of us, our immune systems will be weakened. We will be less resistant to infections and cancers. More people will almost certainly be sick and die younger.

Dioxins attach permanently to our total environment, including our soil, water, vegetables, grain, corn, farm animals, chickens, milk, eggs, meat, and fish. When cattle eat corn or hay, when pigs eat scraps, when chickens peck at feed, dioxins enter their bodies. When we eat them in turn, those dioxins add to what has already entered our bodies through breathing. This is called biomagnification.

These poisons accumulate progressively as long as we have a chronic level of exposure. Even if it is a low percentage, it builds up, much like a very light snowfall can pile up, covering everything. Snow goes away, but dioxins don’t.

So even a very low level of dioxin emissions from the smoke-stack of Pyrolyzer will magnify and accumulate, destroying our environmental safety permanently. Even our private gardens of tomatoes, beans, chickens, and corn will become poisonous.

You do not want to be down-wind from one day’s trash and garbage in a backyard incinerator. Twenty or 30 or 40 years of huge amounts of trash and garbage will produce vast amounts of dangerous fumes, destroying our current way of life.

Edward Daniel Nusbaum, MD, DABPN is a resident of Logansport. He is a guest columnist and can be reached through the newspaper at