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The Daily Tar Heel Wednesday, October 21, 19873
Officials seek cheap method to dispose of dangerous chemicals
BY SUSAN KAUFFMAN
Orange County agricultural
experts and state pesticide specialists
are devising a way for county
homeowners and farmers to safely
and legally dispose of pesticides and
chemicals without paying a small
Improper use and disposal of over-the-counter
pesticides and industrial
strength insect, rodent or fungi
poisons used by farmers constitute a
potential safety and health problem,
SHI said wiiiiam iwc.eiianu, pcsuciuc
tOClCS from page 1 and hazardous specialist with the
Slate rOOU uiu uiug nuuuiusuauuu.
"Even though pesticides such as
DDT have long been banned, mil
lions of pounds were made and lots
of farmers still have it in barns," said
The federal government halted
production of DDT, an organic
chlorine, in 1972 when it was discov-
cans with pension plans would see a
more direct effect. These individuals
indirectly own much of the nation's
stock through the mutual funds that
make up retirement pensions, he said.
The crash could have an adverse
effect mainly on people close to
retirement, he said.
The stock market was a little closer
to normal by Tuesday. The Dow
Jones closed up at 102.27, which
experts said was expected.
"I'd be surprised if it would go
down much more," Stegeman said.
Economists and financial analysts
offered speculation on why the
"The market was greatly over
valued," Stegeman said. A lot of
people were just waiting for a signal."
The most important signal was the
rise in the interest rate, he said. The
U.S. bombing of Iranian oil plat
forms in the Persian Gulf on Monday
and the huge trade deficit also were
contributing factors, he said.
Rogers said, "(The event in) the
Persian Gulf was the freshest bad
news that contributed to it."
He said other factors affecting the
drop included the increasing interest
rates, the weak U.S. dollar, and the
high trade and budget deficits.
"They all came together . . . (Mon
day) and gripped the market at once,"
ered that the chemical moved up
through the food chain, said John
Smith, a state pesticide expert.
Used motor oil and some types of
unused household bleach must also
be properly disposed of because they
can be harmful to the environment,
said Bill Mainous, director of the
county agricultural extension office.
Hazardous waste disposal is expen
sive. Regulated disposal haulers
generally require a minimal transpor
tation fee of $1,500 to send a transfer
truck for waste, said Jewel Morris of
the Environmental Protection
Agency in Raleigh.
A joint committee of state, county
and city waste officials will meet this
winter to propose ways to organize
a county-wide collection day or days
when residents can drop off chemicals
at a designated site, Mainous said.
He will be involved in educating the
public about the hazardous wastes
and publicizing collection days.
"The homeowner really is stuck,"
McClelland said. "He can hang on
to the material or give it away. If he
absolutely must get rid of it, he has
to pay a disposal company. I hate
to see someone pay $1,000 to have
a quart of DDT hauled away."
The Federal Resource Conserva
tion and Recovery Act of 1980
prompted changes in the state law
that placed more severe restrictions
on wastes that can legally go into
landfills. What could have been
thrown in the garbage can and carried
to the city dump in the past must
now be hauled to disposal sites
authorized by the EPA.
Mainous estimated a one-day
waste pick-up would cost $40,000.
McClelland concurred with the
estimate, but added that it could
possibly be higher.
The tab would probably be picked
up by the state, which is working with
a limited two-year budget of
$250,000, McClelland said.
"The whole area of hazardous
waste involves a lot of financial cost,
and penalties for incorrect handling
can be substantial," McClelland said.
The human and health costs of
ignoring potential hazards are also
'In certain cases chronic exposure
to pesticides could cause severe
medical problems, even death,
But not everyone is aware of
"There's a full range of pesticide
users those who are absolutely
terrified for fear of getting some skin
burn from holding a closed container,
to those with a mentality that says
this is dangerous to rodents and
insects but not toxic to humans,"
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