Residents protest Utah medical waste incinerator

North Salt Lake plant accused of blanketing the region in toxic smoke

By Healthcare Facilities Today
September 16, 2013

Residents of North Salt Lake, Utah, city recently called on Gov. Gary Herbert to shut down a medical waste incinerator they say is blanketing the region in toxic smoke, according to an article on Greenwichtime.com.

Mothers and physicians who advocate for cleaner air said at a news conference  that the Stericycle, Inc. facility in North Salt Lake puts the public at risk for increased rates of autism, cancer, fertility issues and other health problems.

The Stericycle plant, which sits adjacent to a neighborhood, receives medical waste from states around the western United States, processing about 7,000 tons of waste a year, according to the state Division of Air Quality, according to the article. The medical waste includes everything from laboratory tools made of plastic and glass, to human tissue and fluids and animal tissues and carcasses. The plant also treats infectious waste which may contain pathogens that result in infectious diseases in someone who is exposed to it.

Protesters are calling for the plant's closure after a large black cloud of smoke came from the facility's smokestack Friday, which officials say was a release automatically trigged by high temperatures inside the facility.

In May, the Division of Air Quality ruled that the facility had committed multiple air quality violations from 2011 to 2013 by emitting excessive amounts of toxic substances and pollutants linked to respiratory problems and eye irritation.

Read the article.

 




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