Cement kilns are some of the biggest mercury polluters in the country. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that can impair a child's ability to walk, talk, read, write and learn. Mercury also interferes with the brain and nervous system and can affect blood pressure, fertility, can cause memory loss and tremors.
Tomoko suffered from Minamata disease, caused by industrial pollution of Minamata's bay with mercury.
While most area residents attending the Texas hearing voiced concern over the fundamental human rights at stake, "You can't get much more basic than the need to breathe clean air," said one. Another resident, unsympathetic with cement industry concerns over the cost of the proposed rules on mercury, hydrochloric acid, hydrocarbons and particulates said, "Put them out of business until they can make clean cement."
As is typical of industry, cement producers claim the cost of doing business as it should be done, with safeguards in place protecting our vital lifeline resources: air, land and water, and so, us, would have a negative effect on their economy, and by extension, the overall economy and economic recovery. It's a defensive posture aimed at maximizing profits at any price.
To learn more about cement plants, mercury pollution and regulation, CLICK HERE, HERE and HERE.
For industry spin, CLICK HERE.