Recycling fire sparks health concerns - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Recycling fire sparks health concerns

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Last month’s fire at Stickney Recycling in North Toledo has fire crews and some union members concerned for their health.

Two unions are considering filing a complaint with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency over possible exposure to toxic chemicals.

That fire at Stickney Recycling burned for 3-days.

A lot of scrap material from construction and demolition sites was in that pile including wood… concrete… rubber tires… roofing material.

“We do not have any idea what’s in that dump.”

The president of the firefighters union, Local 92, worries toxic chemicals also burning with all that debris.

Signs outside the company’s gate indicate cancer-causing asbestos is accepted at the site and that material surely burned.

According to Toledo Fire, 170-firefighters battled that blaze during those three days.

Crews used respirators, when necessary, but skin exposure is also an issue.

So the fire union wants baseline tests done on its crews to see what if any toxic chemicals they may have ingested.

Jeff Romstadt with Local 92 told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, that information would be useful “and basically, hopefully, cover them 20-years from now if they would happen to contract any type of medical condition.”

13 abc has learned Local 7 members– who work in buildings next to the plant fire– are also concerned about exposure.

Their union may file a complaint with the Ohio EPA.

“What’s that smell?  It smells like rotten eggs.”

People who live near the plant say a smell started *after* the fire and they wonder what else their breathing in.

When asked what she feared, Leeanna Young told 13abc, “I don’t know, getting sick.”  But she admits, so far, she has not suffered any noticeable health affects.

However, fire crews know health issues may not be apparent for years.

Romstadt says, “Once they get the data see what was in that dump then we can formulate a concern.”

Stickney Recylcing is not in operation and may have to agree to certain safety measure before it go open for business.

But for now, it’s what happened while the company was in business that has some people concerned.

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