Tag Archives: Health

2002-01-10 – ANJHHWC Meeting Minutes

Location: NJDEP Building in Robbinsville, NJ.
Prepared by Richard Baroch, Bergen County Utilities Authority (Hip-Hip double Hooray for Rich!!!  Thank You:)



  • Fred Stanger, Middlesex County Solid Waste Management
  • Laura Macpherson, Morris County MUA
  • Diane Vigilante, Somerset County Solid Waste Management
  • Richard Baroch, Bergen County Utilities Authority
  • Mark Vangieri, Bergen County Utilities Authority
  • Brian Constantino, Camden County Div. of Env. Affairs
  • Chuck Giacobbe, Camden County Div. of Env. Affairs
  • Ken Atkinson, Gloucester County Improvement Authority
  • Carol Tolmachewich, Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Mgmt.
  • Alaine Fortier, Monmouth County Health Department
  • John Cannata, Sussex Couny MUA
  • Joann Gemenden, Union County Environmental Services
  • Marian Swiankowski, Union County Environmental Services
  • Bill Carner, Warren County PA


  • Michael Winka, NJDEP
  • Robin Heston, NJDEP
  • Charlie D’Amico, NJDEP
  • Pricilla Hayes, New Jersey Solid Waste Policy Group


  • Edith Compton, Radiac Research Corp.
  • Josephine Torriero, Radiac Research Corp.
  • Elizabeth Hauge Sword, Childrens Health Environmental Coalition
  • Donnie Strader, ECOFLO, North Carolina
  • Michelle Santa Barbara, ECOFLO, North Carolina


Diane Vigilante opened the meeting at 9:45 a.m.

Performance Partnership Agreement in relationship with the Appliance and Vehicle Mercury Switch and Recovery Incentive Program

Mike Winka (NJDEP) discussed the specifics of the Performance Partnership Agreement in relationship with the Appliance and Vehicle Mercury Switch and Recovery Incentive Program. Evidently, mercury emissions continue to be a problem in New Jersey. Back in 1990, NJDEP targeted resource recovery facilities to reduce mercury emissions from batteries and mercury containing devices. Industry-wide efforts along with the dry cell battery management act have reduced the mercury emissions dramatically. The present target is the scrap metal and smelter industry. Mercury switches are common items found in automobiles and appliances.

This agreement will

  1. Propose and adopt mercury reduction legislation that would phase out the quantity of mercury in products and would ban from sale products that exceed the limits. A list of mercury containing products would be banned from disposal with the product manufacturers establish and fund an end of life program.
  2. Adopt the universal waste rule for mercury-containing devices, which would allow proper management without over regulating.
  3. Reduce air emissions from scrap metal smelting facilities by requiring air pollution control devices within three years if front-end reduction programs do not reach the required emission parameters. Front end reduction means scrap dealers and shredders will be required to remove mercury switches before they reach a smelter or mill.

ANJHHWC group held a discussion and voted yes to be a part of this partnership agreement.

Environmental Toxins and the Effects on Children

Elizabeth Sword (Children’s Health Environmental Coalition) spoke about environmental toxins and the effects on children. She mentioned that 80,000 new chemicals have been developed since World War 2. Only a small percentage (10%) of these chemicals have been tested and studied. What effects do these chemicals have on the human body and environment? Elizabeth discussed several examples such as leaded gasoline and the effects on the environment, the link to Parkinson’s disease from chemical exposure and the drastic increase in childhood asthma linked to chemical exposure. Elizabeth concluded by stating 28% of kids health problems today are caused by environmental factors.

The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition is a national, non-profit organization of parents, scientists, physicians committed to protecting children from exposure to dangerous toxins in our homes, schools and communities.

NJDEP Tire Recycling Grant Fund

The NJDEP Tire Recycling grant fund was discussed among the group. According to the NJDEP, only the Counties with illegal tire pile-ups will receive the $2.4 million dollars allocated for the 2002 tire grant. This policy will prohibit the remaining Counties from obtaining additional funding for tire recycling. This decision by NJDEP has not been finalized. The NJDEP states they will allocate the remaining funds, if available, to the remaining Counties that did not qualify for the initial criteria.

NJDEP Update

Robin Heston – New Jersey’s draft universal waste rule amendments proposed on December 17, 2001. Expected adoption in May 2002. The amendments will add four new universal wastes. They are consumer electronics, fluorescent bulbs, mercury containing devices and oil based paints. The current Federal universal wastes are batteries, spent pesticides, thermostats and hazardous waste lamps. The universal waste rules can be found at NJAC 7:26A-7. To be considered universal waste, all universal waste must be sent for recycling at an approved Class D facility. Otherwise, it must be handled as hazardous waste.

County Update

Each County representative briefly discussed the extent of his or her County HHW program schedule for the upcoming 2002 season.

Vendor Report

  • Donnie Strader (small business account manager) of Ecoflo gave a brief overview of their Hazardous Waste Company located in Greensboro, North Carolina. They do not have any treatment facilities in New Jersey. They will ship all waste to their TSD facility in North Carolina. He asked to be put on all future HHW bid lists. The contact information is Ecoflo 2750 Patterson Street, Greensboro, NC 27407.
  • Radiac Research Corp. had no new news except they are Bidding County programs and are presently preparing for the 2002 HHW events.


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.


1996-08-01 – Name-Brand Household Products vs. Home Remedies: The Debate Rages On

By Carole Majorossy, Middlessex County Dept of Solid Waste Management, August 1996

Over the past few years, as awareness of household hazardous waste has grown, so has the debate as to whether residents should be told to use “non-toxic,” home remedy alternatives.

Those who promote non-toxic alternatives will tell you that commercially produced home cleaning, pesticidal or herbicidal products can be dangerous to your health. Some products produce toxic fumes that may produce reactions such as headaches, fatigue, burning eyes, runny noses, and skin rashes. Another claim is that pesticides, for example, are stored in our body’s fatty tissues and can accumulate over time, causing long-term effects such as damage to the liver, kidneys and lungs, and can cause paralysis, sterility, and suppression of immune functions. Supporters of non-toxic alternatives say that home remedy solutions are less toxic to humans and the environment. 

On the other side, the Household Products Recycling and Disposal Council believes home remedy products may not be as safe to use because they have not been tested nor are they labeled with storage or first aid information. Commercial products must meet certain testing requirements of the EPA. The Council also states that commercial products work better than home remedy solutions, and a study contained in a 1994 publication (Journal of Environmental Health) supports this claim. The study found that compared to commercial cleaners, the alternative cleaners (borax, lemon juice, vinegar, ammonia, baking soda, and water), as a group, were “less effective in both microbial reduction and soil removal.” The article noted that if alternative cleaners were to be effective, the consumer had to be willing to work harder to get the same results. One problem with this study, however, is that all of the alternative ingredients were used independently instead of being mixed with other alternatives (i.e., salt with lemon juice) as is a more common practice.

At the ANJHHWC Annual Conference in May 1996, tests were done for Name Brand Products vs. Home Remedies. As it turned out, some commercial products worked better (oven cleaner), while other home remedies worked better (brass polish). In some cases, neither products worked well (grease stains).

So what is the answer? As usual, there is no clear answer. If you use name brand products, be sure to follow the instructions for use and finish all of the product to avoid disposal problems. Home remedy recipes are available, so if you choose this practice try the existing recipes, because these have been used before by others and will work better than experimenting on your own. They may also be cheaper to use.

Maybe in the future a more scientific study (than the one done at the ANJHHWC Conference) can be done to test the toxicity and effectiveness of the home remedies vs. the name brand products.


Date: 3/11/2005

commercial products claim to take out so many stains where home remedies only claim to take out a certain stain. How can one product do so much. each stain is different and it should take a different product to take it out. Some stains come out easier than others so what happens if you use a high strength cleaner on it? will it ruin the fabric. the home remedies seem more reasonable because they only claim to take out one kind of stain. Who wants to waste their money on commercial products when home remedies are cheaper, work just as well, and don’t put your health in danger.

1996-08-01 – Landmark Episode: Mercury

By Laura Macpherson, Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, August 1996 

Mercury has dramatically different toxicologic properties depending upon its chemical state. As a liquid metal, it was once used to cure constipation, apparently with few adverse side effects. On the other hand, mercury salts, which were used to form felt in the Dutch hat industry, led to the neurologic disorder renowned as being “mad as a hatter.” Organic forms of mercury, such as methyl mercury, have proven to be even more pernicious, having caused hundreds of cases of paralysis and sensory loss along Minamata Bay in Japan. Inorganic mercury from a chemical plant became methylated in sediments and then bioaccumulated in shellfish. Because shellfish are the major protein source for much of the local population, this situation was an epidemic waiting to happen. Similar poisoning epidemics have occurred elsewhere (e.g., in Iraq and other countries where persons unknowingly ingested seed grain laced with organomercury fungicide). However, it was the Minamata disaster and its graphic depiction through Katagiri’s remarkable photographs in the late 1960’s that heightened global awareness of industrial pollution.

Information contained in this article was supplied courtesy of Hazardous Waste Management, by Michael D. LaGrega, Phillip L. Buckingham, Jeffrey C. Evans, 1994, McGraw-Hill, Inc.