What's in there?
The Daily Record News Group
are toxicological profiles written for substances known to be either
at the Cotter Corp. site or at the Maywood Interim Storage Site
in New Jersey include:
most common metal in the earth's crust, aluminum can be found in
forms as varied as beverage cans to antacids and antiperspirants
to processed foods.
to it is not usually harmful. It has not been shown to cause cancer
in humans. Some studies have linked exposure to high levels of aluminum
to Alzheimer's disease, but other studies are less conclusive.
with kidney problems may be less able to process aluminum from their
bodies, leaving them with a high enough concentration to cause bone
or brain disease.
used as a pesticide, arsenic today is used primarily to treat wood
to prevent decay.
inorganic arsenic in large quantities can lead to death. In smaller
doses it can increase the risk of cancers of the lungs, liver, kidneys,
bladder and prostate.
in high levels of inorganic arsenic can cause lung irritation and
sore throats. Over the long term it can cause skin, circulatory
and nervous disorders.
is mined from rocks, soils and volcanic dust and used to produce
alloys used for electronic parts and construction parts for machinery.
It also is used in nuclear weapons and reactors, X-ray machines,
mirrors, televisions, calculators and personal computers.
can be emitted into the air from the burning of coal and oil.
on health depend on how much and how long the exposure to beryllium
is. Exposure can cause chronic beryllium disease, a disease that
causes weakness and difficulty breathing.
may be an increased risk of lung cancer, but studies have been inconclusive.
cadmium in the United States is a byproduct of production of other
metals. It is used in batteries, pigments, metal coatings and plastics.
on the body from inhaling too much cadmium can include kidney disease,
lung damage and fragile bones. It is also considered a probable
comes in several forms - from a form needed to promote the action
of insulin in the human body to forms used for chrome plating, leather
tanning and wood preserving.
exposure to some forms of chromium in the air can lead to lung cancer,
but not all forms cause adverse effects. The forms calcium chromate,
chromium trioxide, lead chromate, strontium chromate and zinc chromate
are considered human carcinogens.
is an essential element for humans. Its uses range from the common
penny to use in agriculture and water treatment.
most forms it cannot easily affect human health.
some copper is needed for health, large amounts can cause nose,
mouth and eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea.
High intakes also can cause liver and kidney disease and death.
is not known to cause cancer.
iron is essential for health, too much iron can be toxic. Excess
iron is stored in the tissues and organs of the body, where it can
worsen infectious diseases or neurological problems, or cause diabetes,
according to the Iron Overload Diseases Association.
two of its former uses - as an additive in gasoline or paint - were
discontinued due to health concerns, lead still can be found in
batteries, ammunition and computer circuit boards.
of the lead ingested by an adult will be processed out of the body,
but only about a third of that ingested by a child is processed
out. Lead that remains in the body generally is stored in the bones.
nervous system is the main target for lead-caused health problems.
High levels can damage the brain and kidneys.
metal mixed with iron forms steel. It also is used in products as
diverse as dietary aids and pesticides.
too little manganese, people can experience slow blood clotting,
skin problems and changes in metabolism. Too much can cause injury
to the part of the brain that controls body movement. Breathing
in too much can cause lung irritation and possibly lead to lung
shiny metal that is liquid at room temperature, mercury is commonly
used in thermometers, barometers, batteries and metal tooth-fillings.
vapors can enter the bloodstream through the lungs and go quickly
to the kidneys and brain. Permanent brain damage can occur if the
levels are high enough. There can also be kidney damage from high
exposures, but the kidneys usually can recover.
Environmental Protection Agency considers mercury chloride and methylmercury
to be possible human carcinogens.
is a metallic element used as an alloy to strengthen metals.
to the EPA, repeated exposure can cause an increase in uric acid
and gout-like symptoms in humans.
is commonly used in alloys with other metals. It is found in the
soil of the earth's crust, as well as in meteorites. It can be found
in stainless steel, coins and jewelry.
can be exposed through handling coins and by eating chocolate, soybeans,
nuts and oatmeal. Most of the nickel ingested leaves the body through
to nickel dust can cause lung and nasal cancers.
EPA believes nickel refinery dust and nickel subsulfide are human
is a naturally occurring radioactive metal that occurs when uranium
and thorium decay.
radium itself decays, it produces radiation and other "daughter"
substances, which in turn decay until becoming a stable element.
can enter the body through breathing or swallowing. It will gradually
be carried throughout the body, especially to the bones.
to it over a long time period can result in anemia, cataracts, fractured
teeth, cancer and death. The greater the exposure, the more likely
it is that a person will experience one of the adverse health effects.
odorless and tasteless, radon is a radioactive gas formed by the
decay of uranium. It has a half-life of about four days.
can be by breathing in or swallowing the radon, but breathing in
the gas is by far the more common way.
exposure to radon increases the risk of lung cancer. Noncancer diseases
of the lungs also can occur. Smoking can increase the risks.
can be found in photographic devices, plastics, paints, vitamin
and mineral supplements and more. It can enter the air through the
burning of coal or oil.
of the selenium that enters the body leaves quickly, but it can
build up in the body if exposures are high or occur over a long
period. It can build up in the liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, heart,
testes, skin and nails.
fatigue and irritation of mucous membranes can occur with exposure
to high concentrations.
one time tetrachloroethene was used in chemical manufacture, but
its use has diminished.
the fumes can cause fatigue, vomiting, dizziness and loss of consciousness,
but the symptoms usually diminish after breathing fresh air.
health effects from long-term exposure to small levels of the substance
are not known. The EPA considers it a possible human carcinogen,
although the International Agency for Research on Cancer does not
consider it to be.
is a naturally occurring radioactive metal. It decays into a series
of new substances, including radium and radon.
is used to make ceramics, lantern mantles and in metals used in
the nuclear and aerospace industries.
are exposed to a small amount of thorium in air, food and water,
but those near sites where thorium was not properly disposed of
may be exposed to much higher levels.
in thorium dust can increase the chance of lung cancer or other
substance can be stored in the bones, so bone cancer is also a concern.
natural and commonly occurring radioactive element, uranium can
take as long as 4.5 billion years to decay.
radioactivity levels change in uranium exposed to water, resulting
either in enriched uranium that is more radioactive or depleted
uranium, which is less radioactive.
main uses of uranium are for nuclear power plants, on helicopters
and airplanes, and as shielding for Army tanks.
vegetables grown in soil that contains uranium can contain more
uranium themselves, but washing the vegetable or peeling it often
removes all or most of the uranium.
people ingest uranium in food and water it leaves their bodies within
a few days. A small portion can stay in bones, kidneys and soft
people inhale uranium particles, the size of the particles can influence
where it goes. Larger particles can become stuck in the lungs. Smaller
ones move from the lungs into the bloodstream, where most will be
carried through the body and out in the urine. A small amount can
stay in the kidneys and bones.
chance of developing cancer is greater if a person is exposed to
enriched uranium than if the exposure is to natural or depleted
Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation used animal
studies to estimate that people who eat food or drink water with
larger-than-normal amounts of uranium could develop the bone cancer
known as sarcoma.
disease is another potential health problem.
like copper, is found in the common penny. It also can be found
in sunblock, deodorant and antidandruff shampoo.
deficiency of zinc can cause health problems such as lower disease
resistance and reproductive problems.
too much zinc can cause stomach irritation in the short-term, and
can damage the pancreas or cause anemia in the long-term.
on health risks associated with most of these substances listed
in this article came from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry, which has developed toxicological profiles of hazardous
substances that exist at the country's Superfund sites.
on molybdenum came from the Environmental Protection Agency. Information
on iron came from the Iron Overload Diseases Association.
more detailed information about any of the 261 substances for which
the ATSDR has written profiles, visit the agency's Web site at www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxpro2.html#-A.