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AVTEX FIBER INC.

How did Avtex Fibers Inc. Plant once located in Front Royal, VA have a significant chemical impact on the community ? 1. Avtex Fibers Inc. was formed in 1977 to make rayon, polyester, and polypropylene, but poor management had already led

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to poor maintenance resulting in serious environmental problems. From 1987-1989 Avtex had a permit from National Pollution Discharge Elimination System to discharge its effluent directly into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River in Warren County, VA. This contributed to serious health effects in animals, humans, and the environment. When PCBs were found in the river, the permit was revoked, the plant was shut down, and EPA began to control the recovery of contaminated water and soil.

3. Fish tissue sample was taken from the 2. Groundwater contained:


polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) found in the Shenandoah River Complex and WVA, as well as the soil surrounding the plant Avtex Fibers Inc. in Front Royal, VA. PCBs are a carcinogen (known to produce cancer), therefore drinking water taken from the river around 1987-1989 contained this carcinogen. contaminated site in the late 1980s showed that fish had an exceeding amount of PCBs were placed on the do not eat advisory by the FDA. Samples of fish containing PCBs were taken in various locations in WVA on the Shenandoah River on October 11th 1989, just a month later after Avtex Fibers Inc. closed its doors. FDAs maximum criteria on PCBs in fish is 2mg/Kg Channel Catfish found contained 5.4 mg/Kg, Golden Redhorse Sucker contained 11.8 mg/Kg Another survey was done on October 28th 1993 in the same area, and shockingly the Channel Catfish still contained 5.44 mg mg/Kg, the Golden Redhorse Sucker contained 11.74 mg/Kg.

4. Carbon Disulfide is a known poison that can cause respiratory

distress, dyspnea, loss of consciousness, and coma. It was found in the ground water and soil near the factory site, and was used as part of the process to make rayon. Sulfurous odors can emit from this chemical when mixed with impurities, which in fact can account for the strange smells coming from the factory during its operation. Asbestos was found in debris taken from the site probably resulted from insulation used to control process temperatures in pipes, tanks, as well as the boiler that imploded. Asbestos is a known carcinogen especially if inhaled; it produces respiratory Asbestosis that can lead to lung cancer. 5. Lead found in the ground water and soil near the plant site was an ingredient in paint or pipe fittings. Lead poisoning is well known in both acute and The Virginia State Water Control Board took and chronic form- it can be inhaled, analyzed samples of fish from the Shenandoah ingested, or absorbed through River. The Virginia Department of Health states that breaks in the skin causing safe amounts of PBCs in the fish that are safe for aberrant brain function leading consumption is 0.6mg/Kg to mental deterioration, 07/27/1983 2.30mg/kg Channel Catfish delirium, convulsions, coma, 07/16/1987 5.20mg/kg Channel Catfish and death. 08/17/1988 110mg/kg Channel Catfish 6. Arsenic found in the 06/06/1990 50mg/kg Channel Catfish ground water and soil near the 08/17/1999 2.07mg/kg Channel Catfish plant site was used as a 10/07/1999 16.66mg/kg Carp mordant in dyeing fabric. Arsenic causes circulatory collapse beginning with a rapid feeble pulse, lack of oxygen in the blood, troubled breathing, convulsions, and coma before 7. In conclusion, Avtex Fibers death. a big impact on had

1. Development of Shenandoah River PCB TMDL. (2001, September). Philadelphia, PA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2. http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov/index.html 3. Hodgkiss, K. (2010). Record of Decision Operable Unit 7. In EPA Superfund Record of Decision. Avtex Fibers INC. Philadelphia PA: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III

the community, both human and animals as well as the surrounding water supply and soil, which could have led to higher cancer rates and death.