Letters to the editor

Editor, the Advocate:

As a local nurse with 15 years of experience, I am extremely concerned about the health implications of the proposed building of Zinc Resources electric arc furnace hazardous waste recycling facility in Victoria County.

We know that these facilities emit lead dust, even when operating without emissions violations. Science has shown the hazards of living near such facilities to include high blood pressure, which can cause vascular changes that increase your risk for stroke and heart attacks, among other things. Other health consequences include: organ damage, miscarriage, still birth, premature birth, and low birth weight.

Lead accumulates silently in the body over time. Until toxic levels are reached, most don’t even know there is a problem. Children absorb 4-5 times more lead than adults when exposed to the same amounts, putting them at an especially high risk for health problems. There is no level of lead exposure that is known to be safe. Read that last sentence again.

Unfortunately, these facilities have been shown to cause ground water and surface soil contamination with lead, chromium, and vanadium. This is in addition to the lead dust emitted.

As a nurse, I care about everyone’s health in our community. No one deserves to be poisoned by a facility that we don’t even need to keep our local economy afloat.

Zinc Resources has already submitted a permit to TCEQ. I implore you to comment against this permit to stop them from building here. You can comment on their website here:

Enter permit code 164399 when prompted. Comments are expected to be closed before the Port of Victoria receives the environmental impact report, so it is important to act now.

Additionally, I encourage you to attend the next City Council meeting at 5p.m. May 4th at the Municipal Court on Juan Linn Street.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Stay safe and well. These are my own opinions and in no way a reflection of my employer.

In health,

Elizabeth (Beth) Uszynski, BSN, RN, Victoria

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