October 27, 2006

To:  ACSU Administrators
        ACSU School Nurses
From:   Mary Gill, PNP Health Coordinator
             Lee Sease, Superintendent
Re:   Tire Burn at Ticonderoga, NY

As many of you are aware, International Paper Company in Ticonderoga, NY is scheduled to begin a test tire burn on November 6th.  While the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation and EPA have approved this burn, there remain many questions and concerns regarding pollution and health risks.  Vermont Agency of Environmental Resources, Gov. Douglas, numerous environmental scientists, and state politicians have all come out strongly opposed to the burn and are making every effort to stop it.  In order to protect Vermont citizens and our students who live downwind of the burn, we contacted several health organizations for advice.  Here is what we have heard:

From the American Lung Association of Vermont: John Cronin, President and CEO

                  It would be prudent for anyone with respiratory illnesses (asthma, bronchitis, allergies, colds, upper respiratory illnesses, chronic lung diseases, and heart                   disease) to avoid outdoor activities on the days surrounding the burn.  

From Middlebury Pediatrician, Jack Mayer, MD

“Here are some suggestions in my capacity as a local pediatrician with experience in public health and environmental toxicology (Columbia University School of Public Health).  These recommendations are predicated on the fact that increased respiratory rates increase exposure and the toxicity of the fine particulates that will be released during the burn. 
1) At risk children - those with asthma and other respiratory diseases should be kept indoors during recess and should not be playing aerobic sports inside or outside during the 3 weeks of the test burn.  (Fine particulates are not excluded from buildings by windows and doors.)
2) All children - parents should be given the option of asking that their children not be outdoors during recess and not engage in aerobic sports indoors or outdoors during the burn. 
3) How many at risk? Fine particulates travel far and wide with the prevailing winds.  Ripton (all of Addison County) is definitely at risk.  In fact, Chittenden County is at risk.  It all depends on which way the wind blows.  If anyone can smell the plant, the danger is great.  One crude way to determine exposure is for someone to monitor the plume of smoke that comes out of the plant.  (I can't believe we have to do this!)
    I hope this is helpful.  Please contact me if you have questions or want to discuss this further.”

 

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