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Common Sense

August 23, 1987

Congratulations and thanks go to the Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board members who demonstrated common sense, caring and courage on a very controversial and important issue. After months of testimony by witnesses from both sides, the board upheld the denial of a permit to operate for Phoenix Research Corp. in La Mesa.

Phoenix Research Corp., owned by Union Carbide, produces 70% of the world's arsine gas supply and is located off Fletcher Parkway. Arsine gas is one of the most toxic materials in production today. Exposure to 500 parts per million (ppm) of arsine is almost instantly lethal, and 250 ppm is lethal after 30 minutes. Arsine poisoning destroys red blood cells, requiring complete exchange transfusions of blood for effective treatment.

The facility should never have been located in a densely populated residential and commercial area. The wisdom of the APCD staff to deny the permit has been upheld by the hearing board and we applaud their efforts.

DIANE TAKVORIAN

Executive Director

Environmental Health Coalition

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