Thursday, August 2, 2012

The State of the Air

Mayor William Hallenbeck is at the County Sheriff's Emergency Operations Center and at 9:45 a.m. reported that the situation is improving and an official update was expected at about 10 a.m. So far, there has been no such update. 

People who were out and about in Hudson early this morning--unaware of the situation--are now reporting experiencing minor eye and throat irritation. It has also been reported that the Emergency Room at Columbia Memorial Hospital has so far not been informed about the exact nature of the toxins released into the air by the fire.

UPDATE: There's no word on what happened to the 10 o'clock update, but the latest word from the Emergency Operations Center is that another update is expected between noon and 1 p.m.

UPDATE: WGXC will be broadcasting live from the press conference at the Columbia County Emergency Management Office. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Listen at 90.7 FM or online at

Photograph from Hudson Valley YNN.


  1. PCBs were widely used as dielectric and coolant fluids, for example in transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. Due to PCBs' toxicity and classification as a persistent organic pollutant, PCB production was banned by the United States Congress in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001. Concerns about the toxicity of PCBs are largely based on compounds within this group that share a structural similarity and toxic mode of action with dioxin.
    PCBs also have shown toxic and mutagenic effects by interfering with hormones in the body. PCBs, depending on the specific congener, have been shown to both inhibit and imitate estradiol, the main sex hormone in females. Imitation of the estrogen compound can feed estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells, and possibly cause other cancers, such as uterine or cervical. Inhibition of estradiol can lead to serious developmental problems for both males and females, including sexual, skeletal, and mental development issues.

  2. This is a good reminder that residents must keep a closer eye on what the LWRP does and does not "allow" in the city's amended zoning.

    Recent pronouncements by HDC members about the zoning in the RSC District were incorrect, but out of touch residents accepted them unquestioningly.

  3. So how do we get residents "in touch"? What kind of forum can we create. I do believe citizens want to know.