Saturday, March 1, 2008

What DO they do with leftover ricin?

I'm not following up on the ricin scare today because Miles and I have an all-day foster-parenting class as part of our process of adopting a foster child. So the kid is already costing us some dough. Hah.

Anyhow, I did have a question in for the Southern Nevada Health District about what exactly becomes of the ricin that the hazmat teams find in cases like the one of the apparent Vegas gun-nut anarchist at our Extended Stay America?

This answer came via e-mail from Dr. Lawrence Sands, the county's top public health officer:

"According to our environmental health division a licensed contractor hired for clean up will take any remaining material to a hazardous waste landfill (not a municipal landfill) for either treatment (e.g. incineration) or long-term storage. Long term storage would involve double-bagging the material and placing it in a 55 gallon drum buried under 2 feet of dirt."

Wow. So, I wonder, where IS this latter-day Yucca Mountain? Do we have one in Vegas? Or does our toxic waste get dumped in somebody else's backyard, just as Nevada opposes when it comes to nuclear waste coming here?

Also, why two feet of dirt? PEOPLE get six!


RadioVegas said...

Just an example - a small town in eastern Oregon has a massive military compound but seemingly very little activity. They have a massive array of bunkers in the ground which all store chemical weapons which have expired or such.