Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are Exported Scraps Of Contaminated WTC Steel Now a Possible Source Of Deaths And Illness In India?

As some may already know, much of the scrap steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center was quickly shipped off to India after the attacks to be used as scrap metal. This lead to concerns about hazardous materials which might be also present in the scrap and groups like Greenpeace criticized the hasty shipping of the possibly hazardous steel, described in articles like this one from a Green Party website. Despite the refusal of insurance for those involved in the clean up, the secrecy surrounding the materials and their shipment, and an Indian Supreme Court order prohibiting imports of hazardous waste into India, a private investigation into the steel was said to have shown "no toxic contamination" according to one article.

However, recent unexplained deaths and injuries in India to scrap workers might reveal a connection. Described here in the Deccan Herald, "A 35-year-old man died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 19 days after he was exposed to radioactive material in the scrap market of Mayapuri in west Delhi. Another victim continues to remain critical, doctors said on Tuesday." The article continues to report that "Since the indigenous Cobalt 60 cameras were phased out in the 1990s, experts suspect that the source from Mayapuri may have come from outside the country."

Cobalt 60? Apparently that is the radioactive material believed to have caused the death and illnesses of the scrap market workers which was recovered from the scrap market according to (see photo caption) this article.

So where could it have come from? According to the EPA website, cobalt is one of the 22 metals found in the air at ground zero and it is also a trace metal found in the dust samples by the USGS. Perhaps more importantly however Steven Jones specifically mentioned in a discussion (27:00 in) with Dr. William Deagle that if found in tests of WTC dust "Cobalt 60 would be particularly interesting." The discussion has something to do with whether nukes where used in the destruction of the towers or not. Cobalt 60 is also mentioned in an article on OpEd News discussing a test for isotopes in WTC dust. The results of these tests however are not known to this author.

Despite these coincidences, The Times Of India and Outlook India describe a long unused Gamma Iradiator from Delhi University bought by a scrap dealer as the source of the radiation. A Wall Street Journal article also describing this latest development however includes this passage:

Earlier, other government agencies involved in the investigation of the radioactive waste said they were sure it was from outside India and must have been part of an international scrap consignment imported by scrap dealers.

In addition, stainless steel has been found in Germany which was radioactive.

The radioactivity has been identified as coming from Cobalt 60, one of four isotopes of the normally non radioactive alloying element more often found in magnets and tool steels than stainless. Investigations have led the government to confirm one source, Vipras Castings from India. They suspect four additional firms from India:

SMK Steels
Pradeep Metals

Now many articles are now blaming the indian sourced radioactivity on the above mentioned "Gamma Iradiator" from the Dehli University, but if that is the case, how does it explain that "the team of scientists discovered 11 different sources of radiation in Mayapuri's scrap heaps, and an anonymous source at one of the investigating bodies told India's Mail Today newspaper that the Cobalt 60 was believed to be part of a larger, yet undiscovered consignment of metal", reported in this article.

Could there be a connection between these reports of radioactivity and the WTC steel shipped out to scrap dealers in India?

Update: Radioactive steel was also found a couple years ago from China. China along with India received the majority of the WTC scrap steel.

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