Citizens of East Chicago, IN, as well as surrounding areas,
may soon face a serious health threat. Currently, plans are underway to
build a Contained Disposal Facility, better known as a Toxic Waste Dump, within 800 yards of two
schools and heavily populated residential areas. The CDF is to hold 4.7
million cubic yards of contaminated dredging from the Calumet River and the
Indiana Harbor Canal.
The sediments contain such toxins
such as, Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs),
lead and other hazardous
Health effects of many of these chemicals are very serious.
Scientists have connected PCBs alone to liver, gall bladder, lung,
gastrointestinal and brain cancer. They also cause neurological and
developmental problems in children, including learning disabilities,
behavior problems, and lowered IQ.
near the site will decline in value. Furthermore, many older LTV retirees,
who may lose their pensions and company based health care, will face
extra health hazards with diminished resources to pay for health care.
the so-called safe CDF walls and caps are known to crack or collapse as they
deteriorate with age or stress. Repairs are difficult, especially for caps
which allow water to enter the site and volatilization to occur once again.
Monitoring the site will be East Chicago's responsibility.
community, it is up to us to put an end to this hazardous burden. If not for
ourselves, then for our children, who would be suffer the greater burden.