Cement: Hazardous to Your Health?

It sounds implausible: foreign-owned companies bruning hazardous waste in the United States, some of it imported, generating millions of dollars while poisoning citizens. And yet, at about 30 sites nationwide, cement is being made by burning hundreds of thousands of tons of liquid hazardous waste per year in unpermitted cement kilns. The waste, which originates, from the plastic petrochemical, pesticide and other industries, can contain arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury and a host of other toxins which, when burned, send heavy metals and dioxins up into the air, down into unlined pits, and even out into bags of cement sold to unsuspecting consumers.