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OPPT NEWSBREAK Tuesday, Feb 9, 1999

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We regret to announce that, due to budget cuts, OPPT Newsbreak
will be discontinued.  We will cease publication after February
12, 1999.

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Newsbreak: Toxic News for the Net.

Linda Miller Poore (GCI Information Services)
Editor-in-chief, OPPT Newsbreak
Head Librarian, OPPTS Chemical Library
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. OPPT NEWSBREAK                         

Today's "Toxic News for the Net"                     Tuesday, Feb 9, 1999

          Brought to you by the OPPTS Chemical Library


"Crackdown on Trash Haulers Starts.  Eight States, D.C. Stop
Hundreds of Tractor-Trailers for Inspections."  Washington Post,
9 February 99, B1, B4.  "Delegates Vote to Ban Garbage Barges in
State [Virginia Assembly '99]."  Washington Times, 9 February 99,
     Trucks hauling trash down the East Coast were pulled over by
     inspectors in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York,
     Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District
     of Columbia as part of a crackdown on trash haulers. 
     Violations included bad brakes, loads that were too heavy,
     and drivers who had been driving for too many hours.  Of the
     417 trucks stopped in Maryland, the District of Columbia,
     and New Jersey, 37 were ordered off the road because of 
     violations that posed an immediate threat.  Some trucks were
     also inspected at landfills.  The crackdown came as
     Virginia's General Assembly was considering legislation to
     put limits on the waste industry.  Bills to ban garbage
     barges, restrict new landfill construction, and cap dumping
     capacity passed a preliminary vote in the House of Delegates
     and were approved by a Senate committee.

"Experts Find No Arms Chemicals at Bombed Sudan Plant." New York
Times, 9 February 99, A3.
     No traces of chemical weapon compounds have been found in
     debris, soil or sludge samples taken in October from Al
     Shifa, a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant, destroyed by
     American cruise missiles in August.  Contrary to American
     officials' beliefs, samples did not evidence traces of the
     VX nerve gas precursor, Empta, nor its breakdown product,
     Empa, which remains detectable in soil in small amounts for
     weeks or months.  Evidence links Salih Idris, owner of the
     plant, at the time of the attack, to Sudan's Government
     entity, the Military Industrial Corporation, which makes
     weapons for the Sudanese Army and which has been financed by
     Osama bin Laden.

"Getting the Lead Out [Science Times]." New York Times, 9
February 99, D5.
     A new study focussed on the New York urban area reveals that
     the high levels of atmospheric lead come more from the
     burning of garbage than the burning of leaded gasoline. 
     Scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at
     Columbia University and the New York State Department of
     Environmental Conservation studied samples from Central Park
     Lake and found that lead levels were peaking between the
     1930's and 1960's before the use of leaded gasoline and
     during the rise in use of waste incinerators.  Environmental
     Science and Technology journal published the study.

                    EDITORIALS & COMMENTARY

"Lowering Levels of Gas Sulfur [Commentary]."  Washington Times,
9 February 99, A15.
     Automotive writer Eric Peters has finally met an
     environmental regulation he likes: "Such a one is a proposed
     requirement (the announcement could come sometime this
     month) that would affect sulfur levels in gasoline."  He
     explains how this would help catalytic converters function
     more efficiently and lessen air pollution.  "EPA is right on
     this one and deserves support." 

                       PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

"Germany: Treason Charge in Uranium Case [World Briefing]." New
York Times, 9 February 99, A8.
     Engineer Karl-Heinz Schaab has been charged with treason for
     reportedly selling the Iraqis equipment and information for
     making weapons-grade uranium.  

                 ACROSS THE USA, from USA Today

"Paragould, Arkansas [Across the USA]." USA Today, 8 February 99,
     The cost of cleaning up a methamphetamine lab is high for
     taxpayers.  Last year in Arkansas the federal government
     spent $1.183 million for hazardous waste cleanup at meth

"Portland, Maine [Across the USA]." USA Today, 8 February 99,
     Gov. King plans to earmark $75 million for public land
     acquisition.  His proposal stipulates that $50 million of
     the amount be borrowed over five years.  The Sierra Club
     wants the target amount to be $100 million.

"Southport, North Carolina [Across the USA]." USA Today, 8
February 99, 14A.
     In June, a federal judge threw out the Army Corp of Engineers'
     rules limiting the draining of wetlands.  Corp spokesman
     Ernie Jahnke said that since then, 6,000 acres of marsh have
     disappeared in southeastern North Carolina.  The state plans
     to establish its own rules by 2000.


"Glendening, Del. Governor Discuss Pollution [Metro: In Brief: 
Maryland]."  Washington Post, 9 February 99, B3.
     In discussing the problem of water pollution caused by
     chicken manure, Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening and
     Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper said they will explore the
     option of burning the manure at an oil-burning Conectiv
     power plant in Vienna, Md.  Maryland officials are still
     studying a proposal to burn manure to generate power and
     steam heat at the Eastern Shore Correctional Institution in
     Westover.  There are concerns about the amount of phosphorus
     that remains in the ash, and how to transport and store the
     manure safely.  

                  TOXICS IN THE NEWS: ASBESTOS

"The Asbestos Epidemic: An Emerging Catastrophe-Part 1 of 4." USA
Today, 8 February 99, 1A.
     In Eastern Europe, South Africa, China and many of the
     poorer countries of the world, there is an epidemic of
     asbestos-related disease.  In the next 30 years, it is
     projected that at least 1 million people will die.  The
     victims are those who mine asbestos and manufacture asbestos
     products. Sidebar:An Asbestos Primer, 4A.

 "The Asbestos Epidemic: Prison Camp or Death Camp? China-Part 1
of 4." USA Today, 8 February 99, B1.
     Chinese convicts toll without basic safety precautions and
     gear.  As a Chinese-American human rights activist says "a
     sentence or a job at the facility is the same as a death
     sentence."  About 25% of China's asbestos comes from prison


"Fear of the Year 2000 Bug Is a Problem, Too." New York Times, 9
February 99, A1, C10.
     Government officials and consultants say that keeping the
     public informed on the work being done to reduce risks
     likely to occur with the arrival of the new Millennium Bug
     is the best way to deal with  mass nervousness'. Broad-based
     community preparedness efforts are underway.  A manual
     instructing cities how to prepare for disruptions is being
     written by Larry Shook, a Spokane, Wa. Year 2000 organizer,
     in cooperation with the City of Portland, Oregon.  It will
     be available on the World Wide Web.  The American Red Cross
     and the Federal Emergency Management Agency plan to publish
     new advice this month. This article provides a Year 2000
     checklist of recommendations from the American Red Cross. 

                           INTER ALIA

"Pretty Goods [The Arts]." New York Times, 9 February 99, B1.
     An exhibition of facial beauty product advertisements and
     related artifacts from the past begins today at the New York
     Historical Society.  Complexion products that were once
     marketed include Laird's Bloom of Youth which was lead
     paint-based and Dupin's Arsenic Complexion Tablets which
     were taken internally.

* All items, unless indicated otherwise, are available at the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxics Substances (OPPTS)
Chemical Library
Northeast Mall, Room B606 (Mailcode 7407)
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 260-3944; FAX x4659;
E-mail for comments:
(Due to copyright restrictions, the library cannot provide
photocopies of articles.)

*Viewpoints expressed in the above articles do not necessarily
reflect EPA policy.  Mention of products does not indicate

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