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FW: REQUEST: Huge mercury spill causes widespread soil

Title: FW: REQUEST: Huge mercury spill causes widespread soil
The below email is from another listserv.  

Please respond this listserv (if appropriate) AND/or the person who originally posted the query:    congleton@psr.org

Thanks, and apologies for any cross-postings.  -Stephanie
           Stephanie C. Davis

NOTE that on TWTh, I can be found at:
          Sutter Delta Medical Center
3901 Lone Tree Way,  Antioch, CA 94509
            DavisSt@sutterhealth.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    phone:      925-756-1118      fax:     925-779-3044

Where I am the Infection Control Manager,
      work which is separate from WRR
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please."
Mark Twain, 1835-1910
------ Forwarded Message

From: congleton@psr.org
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 19:59:37 -0500
To: ScD18@WasteReductionRemedies.com
Subject: REQUEST: Huge mercury spill causes widespread soil
About 30 years ago, the Rocketdyne facility at the Santa Susana Field
Laboratory had a huge mercury spill where an unspecified amount of
elemental mercury was released after a maintenance team cut into a pipe
that led out of a heat exchange unit. A large quantity of mercury
subsequently drained into the surrounding soil. Rocketdyne claimed to have
cleaned the contamination up in the 1980s, but recent tests showed mercury
levels in stormwater runoff exceeded allowable limits by 191 times.
Multiple samples were tested from sites all over the facility, resulting in
38 citations. Rocketdyne estimates an additional 20 to 30 truckloads of
soil will need to be removed from the site to further remediate the
contamination. They say the soil will "probably" be deposited in a
hazardous waste facility.

The stormwater runoff drains to Simi Valley, mostly from an unlined
drainage ditch and an unlined pond. The highest reading was 2.3 parts per
billion of mercury in the runoff water, or 191 times higher than the
permitted 0.012 parts per billion, according to the February 2000 sample.

I need information on the following:
1) Figures on how much mercury in SOIL (not water) is sufficient to pose a
health risk, and what kind of risks.
2) The solubility of mercury in water and its mobility in soil.
3) Any reactions mercury might have to radioactive elements. Specifically,
does mercury mobilize radioactive elements? Does it combine chemically with
them? Is there any reaction between mercury and cesium?

Any help I can get with these questions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Johanna Congleton
Public Health Organizer
Physicians for Social Responsibility
1316 3rd St. Promenade Suite B1
Santa Monica CA  90401
(310) 458-2694 phone
(310) 458-7925 fax

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