It’s not something anyone wants to consider: what happens to aborted fetuses? For a hospital in British Columbia, the remains are shipped to an Oregon incinerator and turned into energy.
The Daily Caller reports that the Health Ministry admitted to shipping the aborted fetuses to an Oregon waste-to-energy facility, producing electricity for local residents.
The “biomedical waste” that was “transferred” to the Covanta-Marion waste-to-energy center in Brooks, Oregon included “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue,” a Minister official wrote in an email to local Catholic paper, the B.C. Catholic.
Local Brooks residents have worried about the toxic emissions that might be coming out of the smokestack, reports local paper Willamette Live. One concern was that the burning waste is not tested frequently enough for long-term environmental and health consequences of dioxin, mercury, and metals such as lead, arsenic and cadmium.
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After the alarm was raised over the burning of medical waste, brought in sealed boxes and processed with the rest of the solid waste, Marion County Director of Public Works Jim Sears said that not enough of that waste is being burned to merit testing.
Susann Kaltwasser, creator of the website waste-can.org, a website devoted to raising awareness about the incinerator, said that the matter does need investigating. The incinerator burns 800 tons of medical waste a year.
“We don’t know what’s in the burner when they are testing. There is no way to know what emissions are from medical waste. They don’t test for everything that comes out of the stack,” Kaltwasser said.