Poisons found at Gopher Resource
PbLead: A heavy metal and neurotoxin. It used to be commonly found in gasoline and paint and old pipes. High or sustained exposure can cause serious, even fatal, health impacts for adults. It is even more dangerous for children because it can impact their developing nervous system. Gopher recycles lead from old batteries and molds it into new blocks.
SO2Sulfur dioxide: A toxic gas emitted with the burning of fossil fuels and the smelting of metals, such as lead at Gopher’s factory. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system and result in labored breathing. High levels of exposure can also harm trees and plants.
CdCadmium: A carcinogenic metal found in zinc ores. At Gopher, cadmium can be present in lead material fed into furnaces and released during the smelting and refining processes. Prolonged exposure can lead to kidney, liver and heart disease. It is known to cause lung cancer and has been associated with increased risk of prostate, kidney, pancreatic and breast cancers.
AsArsenic: Like lead, it’s a natural component of the earth’s crust. It is highly toxic. It is often used in manufacturing. At Gopher, it’s used during the refining process as an additive. Long-term exposures can cause cancer and skin lesions. It has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease. Early childhood exposure can impair cognitive development.
NaOHSodium hydroxide: Also known as caustic soda. The chemical is used to control sulfur dioxide emissions before they are released into the atmosphere. It’s highly corrosive and can cause irritation of the eyes and skin and can also spark allergic reactions and hair loss.
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Projects like Poisoned are important and expensive. More than 25 journalists participated in our lead reporting initiative at the Tampa Bay Times over the past two years. We have spent more than $500,000 when you factor in salaries, travel and other reporting costs for everyone involved.
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We want to talk with you
Do you live in the neighborhoods of Grant Park, Oak Park, Florence Villa, Dixie Farms or Uceta Gardens in Hillsborough County? And do you suffer from these health issues?
- Heart ailments
- Kidney disease
- Muscle weakness
- Behavioral problems
- Reduced attention span
- Cognitive disabilities
- Debilitating headaches
These are among the factors associated with high levels of lead exposure. Please contact us if you are interested in talking.