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OPPT NEWSBREAK Wednesday, 10 February 1999

OPPT NEWSBREAK                     Wednesday, 10 February 1999

                Today's "Toxic News for the Net"
          Brought to you by the OPPTS Chemical Library


"Oil Pours From Ship Aground Off Oregon Coast.  300 Workers Begin
Cleanup of Sensitive Beach Habitat."  Washington Post, 10
February 99, A6.
     Cleanup crews are working to remove thousands of gallons of
     oil and diesel fuel that spilled from the Japanese-owned
     cargo ship, New Carissa, which ran aground 150 yards
     offshore in Coos Bay, Ore., on February 4.  Some oil-covered
     birds have been found, and special crews are standing by to
     prevent the slick from threatening the habitat of Western
     Snowy Plovers, a threatened bird.  Separately, the panel
     overseeing the restoration of Prince William Sound in Alaska
     said that only two of the nearly two dozen species hurt by
     the Exxon Valdez oil spill have fully recovered.

"Anthrax Hoax Gets Attention of State.  Envelope Opened on
Albright's Floor."  Washington Times, 10 February 99, A11.
     A letter delivered to the State Department, and opened on
     the seventh floor where Secretary of State Madeleine K.
     Albright has her office, contained pellets the letter
     claimed were anthrax pellets.  The FBI, the Joint Terrorism
     Task Force, and the District of Columbia police were called
     to the scene, and field tests determined that the pellets
     were harmless.  The incident is still under investigation.

" Intrusive' Iraq Check Proposal." New York Times, 10 February
99, A8.
     Claiming that Iraq is withholding information needed to
     document abandonment of its nuclear weapons program, the
     International Atomic Energy Agency proposed to develop a
     long-term monitoring system that would initiate unannounced
     inspections of new and previously uninspected locations for
     signs of banned nuclear activities.  Whether or not Iraq
     will agree to this, having been angered by Special
     Commission investigations for chemical and biological
     weapons, is pending.

                 ACROSS THE USA, from USA Today

"Jasper, Alabama [Across the USA]." USA Today, 9 February 99, 5A.
     Drummond Coal Company plans to mine coal 1,100 feet below
     the Black Warrior River.  Concern for harm to the
     environment has surfaced.

"Anchorage, Alaska [Across the USA]." USA Today, 9 February 99,
     About 420 gallons of crude oil leaked from a tanker into the
     Cook Inlet waters.  Officials said that a quarter-mile sheen
     was created by the oil, which broke up before it could be

"North Providence, Rhode Island [Across the USA]." USA Today, 9
February 99, 5A.
     Next week, another 250 spots along the Woonasquatucket River
     will be tested by federal scientists in an an effort to
     determine dioxin levels and corresponding health risks.

"Madison, Wisconsin [Across the USA]." USA Today, 9 February 99,
     The first dredging of the Fox River to remove cancer-causing
pollution in the silt is complete.  In the process, the state
reported that virtually no harm was done to the water's quality. 
EPA is urging contaminated silt removal from 39 miles of river.


"13 Hospitalized After Odor Detected in Kensington Clinic." 
Washington Post, 10 February 99, B9.
     An odor forced the evacuation of about 50 people from Kaiser
     Permanente's Kensington Center in Montgomery County, Md.,
     yesterday.  People were complaining of shortness of breath,
     nausea, watery eyes, and other symptoms.  Seventeen people
     were evaluated on the scene, and 13 of them were taken to
     local hospitals.  Fire officials were unable to determine
     the cause of the odor.

"Ducks Find New Life.  Saved From Fuel-Soaked Creek in Laurel." 
Washington Times, 10 February 99, C4.
     On January 22, a car hit a parked truck on Cherry Road in
     Laurel, Md. spilling diesel fuel into a storm sewer that
     empties into a creek that runs beside the Dominion Electric
     Power Supply Co. warehouse.  EPA was called to clean up the
     spill, and the Chesapeake Wildlife Sanctuary rescued 52 oil-slicked  
       ducks and took them to a  sanctuary in Bowie where  they were      
      cleaned inside and out (some had ingested the oil).  Forty-six of
      the   ducks were released at Allen Pond yesterday.  Three ducks died
            during their stay at the sanctuary, and three were not ready
      to be      released.

                  TOXICS IN THE NEWS: ASBESTOS

"The Asbestos Epidemic: Poland, Part 2 of 4, Town Choked by
Asbestos Struggles to Overcome a Homemade Disaster." USA Today, 9
February 99, 8A.
     Deaths due to asbestos are expected to increase until at
     least 2010 in the former Soviet bloc.  During Communism,
     asbestos was used unsafely.  The time between contact and
     death can lag.

                           INTER ALIA

"A Smoker, but No Cigar." New York Times, 10 February 99, A25.
     A 2,000 pound rocky, chimney-like structure that spews toxic
     smoke from the Earth's interior has been moved from the
     Pacific Ocean floor to the American Museum of Natural
     History's Planet Earth display in Manhattan.  Known as the
     black smoker, the structure may offer scientists clues to
     the origins of life. 

* 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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