COLUMBUS -- Ohio residents, families and concerned environmental health advocates were stunned and horrified after learning that a study by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) shows unacceptably high levels of radiation in a de-icer that is currently being sold to consumers. The ODNR report reveals levels of radium 226 and radium 228 in the tested de-icer product that are 300 times higher than US EPA Safe Drinking Water limits.
Based upon this information, groups and concerned citizens are calling for Ohio legislators to immediately drop Ohio House Bill 393, which, if passed, would facilitate the sale of this product and deem the product a "commodity." One of the sponsors of HB 393 (Michael O'Brien) has asked to have his name removed from the bill as co-sponsors.
Groups are calling for legislators to inform the public of ODNR's findings and to stop the sale of the product in order to protect public health and safety.
"Over a three-year period of time, over five million gallons of this radioactive de-icing and anti-dust product have been sold to an unsuspecting public. This is highly unacceptable and must stop now. It's astonishing that this product made it to market in the first place. Where was the safety testing? ODNR and state legislators have the duty to tell the public about the risks and the contents of this de-icer and to stop its use," said Teresa Mills, Executive Director of Buckeye Environmental Network.
According to the ODNR report, samples of AquaSalina bought right off the shelf ranged as high as 500 times background radiation in radium 226 and radium 228. The average of the samples tested by ODNR were 300 times federal drinking water limits for radium 226.
Ohio House Bill 393, is a bill that would prohibit any regulation whatsoever of the sales of which the company calls "ancient seawater" aka potentially cancer-causing brine if the seller makes a one-time paperwork filing showing that this radioactive waste has been approved for use elsewhere. It has, so the approval by ODNR is a given.
Coshocton businessman Tim Kettler, who has spent 32 years in the wastewater services industry said, "The use of oil and gas wastewater on the roadways and as a de-icer in portable restrooms appears to be a direct path for unsafe levels of radioactive discharges to the Waters of the State of Ohio and threatens the Ohio Department of Health's mission to safely control surface discharges."
This legislation, H.B. 393, would not only legalize sales of radioactive waste as a commodity, it would also give bulletproof protection to the drilling industry against liability. ODNR already allows this waste by the hundreds of thousands, even millions of gallons, for use as a dust control device on hot country roads in the summer and as a de-icer on highways in the winter. For those who don't understand that they are purchasing radioactive waste, it could be used, right now, on residential driveways, patios, and sidewalks as a de-icer.
Groups and concerned citizens recently addressed the Ohio legislature regarding the risks and dangers of passing H.B. 393.
Former Athens County Commissioner Roxanne Groff said, "It is shocking that lawmakers, in spite of the outcry from citizens presenting evidence that oil and gas waste contains radioactive material, chose to dismiss us again in favor of the lies from industry."
Groups are asking Ohio citizens to immediately contact their local representatives to demand that they vote no on House Bill 393, which is going up for discussion during the final weeks of session before the summer recess.
For more information or media inquiries, email or call Teresa Mills at 614-507-4406.