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RE: Chemgon

Last year Alice Chapman of King County's local hazardous waste program in
Seattle (http://www.metrokc.gov/hazwaste/ ) investigated the use of Chemgon
to fix photoprocessing wastes.  Chemgon's literature (
http://www.chemgon.com/ ) says it is "a cubitainer containing a powdered
chemical that encapsulates the fixer into a non-biodegradable solid" and
claims that will not leach and can be landfilled.  The system costs $40 per
five-gallon container. 

I hope Alice will post a message on this topic, but here is what I know:
Alice said the county took samples of Chemgon waste a few years ago.  The
results failed the TCLP test.  She said Chemgon's ingredients are a polymer
that absorbs liquids.  Some specialized photo waste, such as the "Black Dot"
process used by screen printers, may form silver precipitates that may not
be encapsulated by the polymer.  Alice also noted that the standard
analytical methods for silver actually remove the silver from some photo
wastes prior to analysis, yielding a false result.  Chemgon provided a
sample result showing their process met TCLP limits, but Alice felt that
without a sample of the untreated waste, it is hard to know whether the
correct test method was used.  She warns that analytical labs must be
notified that a sample contains photo waste, so that they can use a test
method that does not remove the silver.

Some other problems we saw at that time:
1.  The waste is encapsulated, not solidified.
2.  It may not meet LDR standards for silver.
3.  It does not promote the recycling of silver.

Judy Kennedy
Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program
Washington State Department of Ecology
P.O.Box 47775
Olympia, WA  98504-7775
Phone (360) 407-6385
Fax  (360) 407-6305
Email:  jken461@ecy.wa.gov


-----Original Message-----
From: Marlyn Aguilar [mailto:maguilar@eha.health.state.hi.us]
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 12:01 PM
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: Chemgon

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know anything about a polymer called Chemgon?  
Dentists are using it as an alternative to silver recovery.  The used 
fixer is poured into a 5 gallon container which has a polymer that 
neutralizes and bonds to the silver, making the the solid 
supposedly non-hazardous.  The solid is disposed as regular trash. 
Do other states allow this?  It sounded like treatment and since 
many dentists could be Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity 
Generators, our state does not allow CESQGs to treat their waste.  

Anyway input would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks in advance!

Marlyn Aguilar
Waste Minimization Coordinator
Hawaii Deparment of Health
Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch
919 Ala Moana Blvd, Rm 212
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone: (808) 586-4226
Fax: (808) 586-7509