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SUMMARY OF SPLP RESULTS (MG/L)
This chart shows the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) test results of newly manufactured CalStar brick, from July of 2009, conducted by the Cambridge, Mass.-based environmental and risk science consulting firm, Gradient Corp. All metal values tested well below the U.S. EPA Drinking Water Standard, with the exception of aluminum. However, because the aluminum level is not health-based, but rather based on color changes, Gradient concluded that both the leaching of metals and dermal contact with CalStar’s bricks is not expected to result in exposures of health concern.


 


The EPA Debate
The other big issue currently surrounding fly ash is the EPA’s continued deliberation about whether fly ash disposal should be classified as hazardous waste. Prompted by the 2008 TVA disaster, the agency is looking at the possibility of reclassifying fly ash disposal under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which would require disposal to be enforced by federal officials, or Subtitle D, which would be enforced by citizen lawsuits.


Since fly ash that is recycled for “beneficial use” would not be re-labeled under either scenario, the environmentalists are confident that such an eventuality would have no adverse affects on the fly ash building products industry.


“The EPA expresses a goal of increasing safe beneficial uses, so the plain language of the [proposed] rule only reveals a desire to increase—rather than inhibit— safe recycling such as the use of fly ash in concrete or bricks,” explain Widawsky.


However, building professionals beg to differ.


“I simply can’t grasp the logic of the idea that classifying something as hazardous will actually increase its recycling,” says Rapoport. “There is a deep concern that makes people want to shy away from a material that has anything to do with the word ‘hazardous.’ The stigma is very real, and we’ve actually lost a couple of jobs,” as the issue is debated.


Similarly, Kren is convinced that the industry would stop using fly ash if its disposal were to be classified as hazardous. “It only takes one lawsuit to bring a business down and no one would want to risk it.


08.2011
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