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Use of steel slag on gravel roads suspended in Iowa county

Steel News - Published on Fri, 18 Jan 2019

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Desmoines Register reported that an eastern Iowa county has stopped using slag as the gravel on its roads, at least temporarily, because a state toxicologist reported that the steel manufacturing byproduct could be harmful, especially to children. Muscatine County supervisors voted to suspend the use of slag while they wait for further testing on it. The move comes after Iowa Public Health Department toxicologist Stuart Schmitz issued a report that said slag contains metals at levels that can be harmful.

According to a US Department of Health report “Children exposed to high levels of manganese, which is in slag, could develop learning disabilities and adverse behavioral changes. Slag dust is also dangerous for adults who are exposed to high concentrations of the material, though adults would have to work an entire workday, most days of the year, to be harmed.”

County Supervisor Nathan Mather said “The material hasn't been used on roads since June, said. Simply put, we suspended the use of slag out of an abundance of caution while more information is gathered.”

Glenn Hundertmark is the North American environmental manager at Harsco, the industrial company that provides the county with slag. He said there aren't health or environmental risks tied with the material.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 18 Jan 2019
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