While writing and researching for a book I have looked at many industries and how they were created, mostly within 50 years after the Civil War. The coal and petrolatum industries being one of the largest. followed by the chemical industry… One industry that I have run across a number of times was dyes, the coloring and flavoring business. I looked at the beginning of IG Farben and have run across one of the most polluted sites in Buffalo.
The FDA regulates colors separately from other additives. The FDA currently certifies nine synthetic dyes—FD&C Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Citrus Red 2 (used only on orange peels), and Orange B (which is no longer used because of safety concerns but is not banned).12 Although called “coal-tar dyes,” synthetic colors are now made from petroleum; the FDA certifies each batch to ensure it meets quality standards. The FDA also allows a number of natural colors, such as carmine, annatto, turmeric, beta-carotene, and caramel color, which do not receive agency certification. Companies must petition the FDA to create and use new color additives.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the German chemical industry dominated the world market for synthetic dyes. The three major firms BASF, Bayer and Hoechst produced several hundred different dyes, along with the five smaller firms Agfa, Cassella, Chemische Fabrik Kalle, Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron and Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler-ter Meer concentrated on high-quality specialty dyes. In 1913, these eight firms produced almost 90 percent of the world supply of dyestuffs and sold about 80 percent of their production abroad. The three major firms had also integrated upstream into the production of essential raw materials, and they began to expand into other areas of chemistry such as pharmaceuticals, photographic film, agricultural chemicals and electrochemicals. Contrary to other industries, the founders and their families had little influence on the top-level decision-making of the leading German chemical firms, which was in the hands of professional salaried managers. Because of this unique situation, the economic historian Alfred Chandler called the German dye companies “the world’s first truly managerial industrial enterprises”.
With the world market for synthetic dyes and other chemical products dominated by the German industry, German firms competed vigorously for market shares. Although cartels were attempted, they lasted at most for a few years. Others argued for the formation of a profit pool or Interessen-Gemeinschaft (abbr. IG, lit. Community of interest). In contrast, the chairman of Bayer, Carl Duisberg, argued for a merger. During a trip to the United States in the spring of 1903 he had visited several of the large American trusts such as Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, International Paper and Alcoa. In 1904, after having returned to Germany he proposed a nationwide merger of the producers of dye and pharmaceuticals in a memorandum to Gustav von Brüning, the senior manager at Hoechst.
To be True Blue
I will tell you later
Pesticides & Chemical Warfare
April 16, 2013
More than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef collected from supermarkets for testing by the federal government contained a bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report highlighting the findings.
The data, collected in 2011 by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System — a joint program of the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — show a sizable increase in the amount of meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria, known as superbugs, like salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter.
While doing research for a book I often get sidetracked by things that are connected to my own life more then the subject of my research.
I was interested personally in the Nike base near my childhood home, the oil refinery and steel plants that discharged into the Niagara River, were I swam, and the orange frogs in the small green frothed pond with barrels rusting in the cattails.
I did find that since I grew up between Buffalo NY & Niagara Falls, NY there is more information about defense installations and industrial plants in the 40s, 50s and 60s then you will find other places.
The reason, lawyers and lawsuits over contamination and exposures.
I was not surprised to find out a about Hooker Chemical, being their association with Love Canal. I did find out that the Niki missiles did have nuclear warheads set to explode 20 miles above to destroy incoming soviet bombers. I was not shocked to find out the refinery across the river from my grandparents house was contaminated with asbestos, but what shocked me most was this:
TONAWANDA’S MANHATTAN PROJECT LEGACY
Over half a century ago, the United States embarked on one of the greatest engineering projects of all time. This venture (under the direction of the U.S. Army’s “Manhattan Engineer District”) had as its goal the development of the world’s first atomic bomb.
In communities across the United States, thousands of scientists, and ordinary citizens alike, set about their task in complete secrecy. In most cases, even those involved in the project were unaware of the true nature of their work, or the dangers involved. One community involved in this effort, was the Town of Tonawanda, New York.
Hidden and largely ignored, the remnants of a war-time uranium refinery remain here, its radioactive secret still dangerous thousands of years into the future. F.A.C.T.S. is committed to ensuring that we not pass this along as our lethal legacy to countless future generations.
The Tonawanda, N.Y. FUSRAP Site consists of five properties: Linde (now Praxair),
Note that my house could be on this map
Ashland 1, Ashland 2, Seaway and the Town of Tonawanda landfill. These properties, as well as area ground and surface waters, were contaminated with radioactive wastes resulting from the uranium ore refinery operations conducted in Tonawanda by the U.S. Army’s top secret Manhattan Engineer District (MED), (commonly known as “the Manhattan Project” which produced uranium for the world’s first uranium atomic bombs, including the Hiroshima bomb), and after the war by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
The uranium refinery operated solely under contracts with the federal government. Known during the war as the Ceramics Plant, the refinery consisted of existing Linde Air Products Company buildings (principally Building 14: the pilot plant) and several buildings built by MED: Buildings 30, 31, 37, and 38.
Between 1942 and 1946, 8,000 tons of filter cake residues, resulting from the processing of domestic uranium ores and residues at the Linde facility, were dumped on the ground in a layer 1 to 5 feet thick at the 10.8 acre Haist property (now known as Ashland 1). This property was first leased and subsequently purchased by MED in 1944. Another 20,500 tons of high-radium-content residues from the processing of African pitchblende ores were taken to the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works site near Lewiston, NY. And 154 tons of residues were taken to Middlesex, NJ.
The residues dumped at the Haist property were known to have an average uranium content of 0.54 percent by weight and, therefore, were “source material”, as defined at that time in the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) regulations at 10 CFR 40, “Control of Source Material”, Section 40.2:
the term “source material” means any material, except fissionable material, which contains by weight one-twentieth of one percent (0.05%) or more of (1) uranium, (2) thorium, or (3) any combination thereof.
The bulk of the contamination at the Linde property also met the “source material” definition. The transfer of source material to any person, unless authorized by a license issued by the AEC, was specifically prohibited at Sec. 40.10 (see historic 10 CFR Part 40 excerpts). A “person” included “any individual, corporation, … the United States or any agency thereof … “. One of the reasons for strict government control of such material was “to protect the health and safety of the public” (Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Section 2.d.)
ILLEGAL ACTS BY THE AEC INITIATED THE ENSUING MESS
Contrary to its own regulations, when AEC vacated its premises at the Linde facility it failed to license this “source material” as required by this Act, thereby, violating its lawful responsibility to maintain control over the material. Similarly, in November 1959, without licensing the residues, the AEC transferred the Haist property to the General Services Administration for “disposal”. On June 17, 1960, the property was sold by GSA to the Ashland Oil Co for $56,000. (See DOE’s Authority Review for Ashland/Seaway properties.)
According to the DOE environmental review documents, the wastes abandoned at the Haist property contained about 86,300 pounds of total uranium, equivalent to about 26.5 curies (Ci) of total uranium (approximately 3200 lbs. per curie) consisting of 12.7 Ci of U-238 (half-life of 4.5 billion years), 13.2 Ci of U-234, and 0.6 Ci of U-235 (see “uranium” in Glossary). Estimates of the amounts of radium-226 (half-life of 1600 years), thorium-230 (half-life of 77,000 years), and the other uranium decay chain members present in these wastes have not been provided by DOE, in spite of our requests for this essential information. (The total source term radioactivity is estimated to be over 150 curies).
The original volume of the wastes dumped at the Haist property was about 5,600 cubic yards (assuming a density of 1.7). Now, over 352,000 cubic yards of soils are contaminated based on cleanup criteria proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) [see below]. This is more than a sixtyfold increase in the contaminated volume in only 50 years. The community’s preferred cleanup alternative (complete waste removal with offsite storage at a suitable, licensed facility) also includes an estimated 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated building materials from the demolition of all four contaminated buildings at the Linde/Praxair property.
In addition to the continuing forces of erosion - wind and water - the abandonment of regulatory responsibilities by both the federal government and later by the state government (NY became an Agreement State in 1962) resulted in the wholesale transfer of large amounts of the wastes to other nearby properties. In 1974, prior to constructing two oil tanks on the former Haist property, Ashland Oil Co. transferred approximately 6,000 cubic yards of the residues and contaminated soils to an adjacent landfill at the Seaway Industrial Park. The owners of Seaway apparently did not know the material was radioactive. Ashland also transferred additional volumes of contaminated material to their property (known as Ashland 2) located east of the Seaway property. Such transfers were made as recently as 1982, two years after the Linde property was designated for cleanup by the DOE. The Town of Tonawanda landfill was contaminated along the way by the dumping of contaminated sludge from the sewage treatment plant and contaminated sediments from storm sewers and dredged from Two Mile Creek, all of which were disposal routes used by Linde for the liquid effluents from the uranium refinery.
RADIOACTIVE LIQUID EFFLUENTS DISCHARGED
During the operation of the refinery at Linde, large volumes of contaminated liquids were discharged: seven bedrock injection wells on the Linde property received 55 million gallons containing 3.7 Ci of total uranium and 5.5 Ci of Ra-226 - 9.2 Ci total. Tonawanda’s storm sewers and Two Mile Creek received 56 million gallons: 3.8 Ci of total uranium and 5.6 Ci of Ra-226 - 9.3 Ci total. Tonawanda’s sanitary sewers received: 6.5 Ci of total uranium and 2.6 Ci of Ra-226 - 9.1 Ci total. Neither the fate nor the remediation of these 27.6 Ci of material is adequately addressed in DOE’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (RI/FS-EIS) for the site. These releases have been estimated to represent almost 50 percent of MED-related uranium and radium environmental contamination at the site.
DOE’s 1993 BASELINE RISK ASSESSMENT:
This “no action” (i.e., if no cleanup is done) evaluation of the hazards posed by the contamination at the Tonawanda Site seriously underestimates the site’s inherent risks. It contains several errors and omissions (see Comments on draft RI/FS-EIS for a detailed discussion). Pathways involving water-borne exposure are excluded; the time frame considered is much too short; exposure scenarios unrealistically limit exposure pathways and especially exposure durations. A conservative assessment of the radioactive hazard present at the site would assume the maximally exposed individual to be an around-the-clock resident, not a “transient” spending only 25 hours per year at the site.
Remediation of the Linde Site is ongoing. If remediation is not completed before then, the next five-year review will be completed in August 2015.
- Johnny Carson made his first appearance as host of the Tonight Show
- The Beatles had their first number one song in “Love Me Do,”
- Sam Walton opened the first WalMart in Bentonville, AK
A savvy shopper could score a big screen tv for $420. Of course in those days a big screen only measured 23 inches, and it was encased in a cabinet that weighed 163 pounds.
That television represented an investment of nearly 8% of the average American income, and just under one- third the cost of tuition for a year at Harvard.
Today that price will get you a 50 inch flat screen tv that you can hang on your wall, but it would only pay for 0.8% of your annual tuition bill at Harvard.
via: The Annual Newsletter of the Economic History Association - http://www.eh.net/eha/system/files/files/eha/EHA%20newsletter%202012%20final%20draft_01.04.2013.pdf