In 1933, Dow created a mass of
tars that was too toxic for disposal. Even there were
several disposal options available (incineration, disposal
in chemical ponds being reclaimed for other uses, several
landfills) over the next twenty five years.
In the 25 years from 1933 to
1958, Dow excavated and re-buried the mass of tars three
times. In order to do this, Dow had to know where the
tars had been buried with great precision... precision
available through careful surveying and placing the burial
location of plant maps.
What type of tars would require
this degree of extraordinary care.... perhaps a material too
toxic for incinerators that belched black smoke indicating
that combustion was incomplete and that the emissions
themselves might be toxic.
One very toxic material comes to
mind -- dioxins. Perhaps, Dow synthesized and purified
a quantity of tars that were being found in the reboilers of
the chlorophenol distillation equipment in order to
determine if the material had any commercial value.
Alarmed by the extreme toxicity of the product, Dow would
certainly want to dispose of it or place it in a location
that was so well know that any excavation or underground
work would not disturb the material and expose workers
unknowingly to very toxic chemicals.
A bigger, more important unknown
-- what happened to the mass of tars too toxic for
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section of the website is completed.