Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pulp and paper mills’ chemical legacies

The pulp and paper industry deals with
many chemicals and pollutants.
During operation and after they are gone, pulp and paper mills can leave behind significant chemical pollutants – dioxins (a by-product from the chlorine used in the bleaching process of paper) and petroleum as well as many others.

Dioxins can also come from “sulfate liquor,” which is used to break wood down into pulp. In fact, dioxin is a general term for a group of hundreds of toxic chemicals that can come from numerous sources.

The chemicals can contaminate nearby waterways, groundwater, soil and air.

Dioxin exposure becomes a health problem when the chemicals accumulate in fatty tissue of animals, becoming a food chain problem.

They have been liked to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, hormonal changes and cancer, the World Health Organization says.

In the case of a recently closed mill in Everett, the contamination could have been the reason why a potential buyer walked away and it may require an urgent cleanup.

Pulp and paper mills produce 9 million tons of pulp annually according to the U.S. EPA and are a strong player in the economy.

Source: The Herald

Want to know more about health and safety issues and chemicals concerns? Electrocorp manufactures industrial-strength air cleaners for superior chemical and odor control and has designed air cleaners for the pulp and paper mill industry. Contact Electrocorp for more information.


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  3. Pulp and paper mills use a wide range of chemical substances potentially dangerous to human health. Pulp pollution is a becomes a serious problem. Pulp and paper industry pollute our water, air, and soil. The pulp and paper industry is one of the biggest and most polluting sectors in the world; it is the third most polluting industries in North America.

  4. What a fascinating blog. My littler had to do a research on pulp and paper mills and we have been doing the project together. I have learned things about it I never would have guessed. This is probably one of our favorite blogs of the few we have found! Thanks so much great work!

  5. "The chemicals can contaminate nearby waterways, groundwater, soil and air." And this is a very big problem for all of humanity. To this question should be approached very carefully, use as many tools and techniques to protect the environment. There is a huge number of devices, such as Consistency Transmitter, control and measurement of substances and its further purification.