Printer Friendly

SUGARCANE BURNING DOES NOT POSE ENVIRONMENTAL RISK, SCIENTIST REPORTS

SUGARCANE BURNING DOES NOT POSE ENVIRONMENTAL RISK, SCIENTIST REPORTS
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The mercury content of leaves and other materials burned as part of pre-harvesting of Florida sugarcane is extremely low and the practice appears to pose no environmental hazard, one of the country's leading wetlands researchers reported Thursday.
 Dr. William H. Patrick Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University and director of the university's Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute, told The Second Florida Mercury Conference that research performed by the institute shows burning sugarcane fields releases 0.000177 pounds of mercury per acre. At the same time, an estimated 0.000151 pounds of mercury per acre are deposited each year by rainfall and other atmospheric fallout.
 "There is no evidence of any mercury threat from burning the sugarcane fields," Dr. Patrick said. "Mercury release from the entire area would be only about 76 pounds per year. By comparison, a report by Greenpeace says South Florida industrial sources release approximately 6,000 pounds of mercury per year to the atmosphere."
 Andy Rackley, vice president and general manager of the Florida Sugar Cane League, which commissioned the Louisiana State University study, said the findings are the first scientific look at mercury releases from the sugarcane fields.
 "This shows that mercury from the fields is only a fraction of the 570 pounds of mercury a year deposited naturally on South Florida, and insignificant when compared to the 5,670 pounds of mercury that fall from the atmosphere throughout the state of Florida.
 "Up to now, "we've heard concerns about mercury release from environmentalists and others, but there had not been any scientific evidence either way," Rackley said. "These findings should put the controversy to rest once and for all."
 For Dr. Patrick's study, soil and sugarcane leaf samples from 17 sites throughout the sugarcane fields were sampled in October and again in December of 1991. The samples were analyzed using the flameless absorption method, which Dr. Patrick said has a detection limit of one part per billion dry weight.
 "The results of the two tests were nearly identical. The concentrations of mercury in the leaves were 0.068 parts per million," Dr. Patrick said. "This is consistent with published reports on other terrestrial plants, all of which show some naturally occurring levels of mercury."
 -0- 1/23/92
 /CONTACT: Andy Rackley, vice president and general manager of Florida Sugar Cane League, 813-983-9151/ CO: Florida Sugar Cane League ST: Florida IN: SU:


SS-AW -- FL007 -- 2956 01/23/92 15:50 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 23, 1992
Words:420
Previous Article:HOPI TRIBE PRAISES DECISION BY INTERIOR
Next Article:KENT COUNCIL APPROVES REGIONAL MALL PLANS
Topics:


Related Articles
FLORIDA SUGAR CANE LEAGUE URGES STATE AGENCIES TO STUDY SMOKE FROM SUGARCANE BURNING, SAWGRASS FIRES, AND MUNICIPAL WASTE INCINERATORS
Management of sugarcane harvest residues: consequences for soil carbon and nitrogen.
Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association Considers Bloomberg TV Report on Sugar and Ethanol Industry 'Dangerously Misleading and Out-of-Context'.
With Best Practices in Mind, Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association Joins Better Sugarcane Initiative.
Brazilian Sugarcane Industry: OECD Report Confirms Overall Benefits of Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol.
Brazil's Sugarcane Industry Applauds EU Target for Using Renewable Fuels.
Sugarcane Ethanol Already Meets California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Says Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association.
Sugarcane Ethanol Industry Eager to Implement U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.
Sugarcane cultivation in Orissa on a decline.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters