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Re: Bleach Manufacturing




I am not an expert, but here's a few potential thoughts:

1   I don't know what the alternatives are for chlorine in bleach, but 
Seventh Generation and others make non-chlorine bleach products for laundry.  

2 - numerous water treatment facilities have replaced chlorine with sodium 
hypochlorite, greatly reducing risks associated with chlorine handling and 
storage. Why is chlorine such a risk? Per the National Transportation Safety Board 
and the Coast Guard, a large leak of chlorine gas can travel two miles in only 
10 minutes and remain acutely toxic to a distance of about 20 miles. (Source: 
Greenpeace) 

3 - Mercury is present in chlorine manufactured via the mercury cell/cathode 
process.  Alternatives to the mercury cell process:  ion-exchange 
membrane-cell and porous diaphragm-cell process.
http://www.wlssd.duluth.mn.us/Blueprint%20for%20mercury/HG6.HTM

FYI - from an OTA Advisory on Reporting mercury and mercury compounds (see 
www.state.ma.us/ota/advisories/mercury.htm), the EPA estimated average mercury 
content/emissions factor for the Chlor-alkali mercury cell process (using 
uncontrolled hydrogen venting)  is 3.3 x 10-3 lbs Hg per ton Chlorine produced

The Chlorine Institute  who represents the chlor-alkali industry, has 
voluntarily committed to reducing mercury use 50 percent by 2005.  Not sure they are 
looking at Cl alternatives, but maybe they'd have some p2 ideas in addition to 
Bob Pojasek's suggestions???

Michelle Gaither
Tech Lead, PPRC
www.pprc.org

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