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Nov. 9, 2008 - CBS News 60 Minutes: Following The Trail Of Toxic E-Wastes America's discarded computers, TVs, cell phones and other electronic waste often end up in China. There, it is high-graded for a few metals and other materials in primitive "recycling" operations. Mountains of unwanted plastic cases and PVC wire insulation are burned to gain access to the metals. 60 Minutes found horrible air and water pollution, including high dioxin levels from the burning of PVC plastic:

"Pollution has ruined the town. Drinking water is trucked in. Scientists have studied the area and discovered that Guiyu has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world."

"The situation in Guiyu is actually pre-capitalist. ... Open, uncontrolled burning of plastics. Chlorinated and brominated plastics is known worldwide to cause the emission of polychlorinated and polybrominated dioxins. These are among the most toxic compounds known on earth"

open burning e-waste in China

March 7, 2005 - New York Times story: In a Debate Over Trash Burning, It's Rural Tradition vs. Health.

... with the growing body of research about the dangers of burn barrels - namely the dioxins and other pollutants they give off - has come a movement to ban their use in New York. Maine and New Hampshire have outlawed the practice of trash burning within the past few years, as did California. Other states, including New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont, instituted bans long ago.
"A lot of people think that burning trash is their right, and they don't understand the potential health implications for them and their children and their neighbors," said Ellen Z. Harrison, director of the Waste Management Institute at Cornell University.

North Country Public Radio has had more than 20 stories featuring burn barrels in the past three years. Search for "burn barrel" at NCPR radio website search engine. All require Real Player to hear.

Feb. 2, 2005 - Chinook Observer (Washington State) Burning trash releases toxic pollution.

Jan. 16, 2005 - The Sunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) story: Concern as Scots farms escape ban on burning waste. England to ban farm burning of waste but Scotland allows exemption. May violate European Union law.

June 2004 - New Mexico Env. Dept.: New Mexico bans all open burning of trash.

April 2004 - New York Daily News reports Soldiers in Iraq burning trash in barrels; ailments possibly linked with DU (depleted uranium).

Yonnone said his nausea, skin rashes and migraines began in Samawah. "The headaches are constant and they don't want to stop," he said. "The rashes seem to come and go.
"We were always passing blownout tanks when we were out doing patrols."
He recalled that American units in the town burned trash and waste each night in big drums near the train depot. "The combination of smoke and sand when we lit those fires covered everybody," he said.

May 10, 2004 - NCPR story: Tour de Burn Barrel visits Albany includes comments from NY Farm Bureau.

March 2004 - Associated Press story on New York State Legislature public hearing on burn barrels.

March 2004 - Oneonta (NY) Daily-Star story on New York State Legislature public hearing on burn barrels.

March 2004 - Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times story Spring is in the air, and so are dioxins. Describes the common practice of open trash burning in rural Oregon.

"People will try to burn anything, said Freeman, who sees a half-dozen illegal fires a week. A shag carpet with padding; a computer keyboard; a dead calf."

July 15, 2003 - NCPR story: Sen. Meier comments on bill in New York State Senate. Go to minute 7:30 - 10:10 for this part of interview.

June 14, 2002 - NCPR story: Sen. Wright comments on bill in NYS Senate.

Aug. 20, 2003 - Watertown Daily Times story: County Farm Bureau will hear opinions on proposal to ban open burning of trash.

Farmers tonight will begin discussing what could be a controversial plan to back a ban on trash burning in St. Lawrence County.

Aug. 19, 2003 - Watertown Daily Times story: Ban on burning considered again.

"I think it needs to be a little stronger than suggestion. I think it has to be a mandate," said Mr. Tulley, Brasie Corners. "When you've got burn barrels in everybody's backyard, it just can't be good to breathe that. And I think we're going to pay for some of this with Medicaid and Medicare on the other end, as well."

June 14, 2002 - North Country Public Radio story on NY Burn Barrel Ban Bill

Not in Your Backyard

June 6, 2002 - Not in Your Backyard "Danger: Burning refuse on your property may be hazardous to your health" Metroland weekly paper for Albany, NY. Interviews with environmentalists, NY Senators, farmers and NY Farm Bureau.

May 21, 2002 - New York DEC cites open burning prohibition for village of Waddington, NY