Monday, November 22, 2010

A technical solution for Hungary's toxic spill

Terra Daily: Hungary's toxic sludge spill is being called one of Europe's top three environmental disasters of the past few decades. On October 4, an enormous chemical-filled reservoir maintained by an Alumina plant in Ajka, western Hungary, ruptured, inundating several villages with nearly 200 million gallons of toxic sludge. Immediately upon hearing of the spill, CBI Polymers, a Hawaii-based company that specializes in a unique decontamination product called DeconGel, began coordinating with US Department of Commerce representatives and the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, to assist with the disaster relief efforts.

Within hours of the toxic spill, the surge had killed four people, injured dozens more and left thousands homeless. In its wake remains a poisonous path of caustic alkali that can burn skin on contact, damage the lungs when inhaled, and can damage the digestive system, or be fatal if ingested. When news of the disaster reached CBI Polymers President Larry Stack, he responded immediately.

"As a company committed to environmental protection and humanitarian assistance, it was important for us to help with the Hungarian disaster," Stack said. "DeconGel was made specifically for this type of crisis and it was critical for us to be on the ground to assess the situation quickly." CBI Polymers' Vice President Robert Harrison was promptly dispatched to the affected regions.

…CBI's DeconGel, a high-tech decontamination solution that requires no water to use, has been shown to remove 99.7% of Alumina from bare concrete as determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) in laboratory analysis. DeconGel is also effective on contaminants such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and chromium-all hazardous elements found in the sludge. Harrison and Papp met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Devecser, who approved a test-application of DeconGel. After the gel dried, the group returned to the test site and began the process of decontamination….

An aerial view of the sludge spill, from the Hungarian government

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