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Editorial opinion by Andrew Saul, New York State certified chemistry teacher and former SUNY environmental science instructor.

YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE DIAZ CHEMICAL COMPANY ASSAULTED the homes, the cars, and the bodies of Holley residents with 2-chloro, 6-fluorophenol. But this particular accident (obvious, publicized, and smelly as it was) was just one more in a long series of explosions, spills, and other disasters caused by DIAZ CHEMICAL.


The issue goes far beyond January 5, 2002 and 2-chloro, 6-fluorophenol. There are diminishing few who still do not see this. But the Attorney General of the State of New York certainly does.

( ) What’s more, law enforcement had been watching DIAZ for longer than you might think.


I have in front of me a 69-page report entitled “NEW YORK UNDER A CLOUD: The Need to Prevent Toxic Chemical Accidents.” It is grim reading.


The poster child of this book is Holley, New York.


Yes, Holley is featured prominently in this report. Page 19 presents a map of Holley, and a calculation of how, if the wind blows even an extremely gentle 3.4 miles per hour, a major toxic release by DIAZ CHEMICAL would kill the lot of us in minutes.  If you like, you can look to see exactly where your house is on this map. All the schools are there, too. The caption reads, “Holley Primary, Intermediate, and Jr./Sr High Schools; 1300 attendees. Approximately 1 mile away from Diaz.” And every child there could be dead before you could even get to them.


Says the report: “The message is clear: a toxic cloud can arrive in a matter of seconds while implementation of protective measures requires many minutes or even hours.” (p 19)


You may be wondering who authorized and published this report. The answer is, Robert Abrams, our previous Attorney General, of New York State.


The report was issued May, 1989.


So 13 years later, something happens.  Fortunately, the January 5, 2002 explosion did not involve bromine, a chemical DIAZ has a long history of handling 20 TONS at a time. If it had been bromine, I would not be alive to write this.


Holley has been working without a net since 1974, when Diaz came to town. Just because we are still alive does not mean the danger is over. Diaz has been given time to clean up its operation.  It has not. It has been given time to clean up its factory.  It has not. Diaz has been given time to clean up the neighborhood.  It has not. A village-blanketing chemical explosion, sadly enough, is what it took to fully wake everyone up.


This is why the January 5, 2002 Diaz disaster was so important, and Diaz knows it.  Sources tell me that the very night of the explosion, Diaz bosses were heard saying, “They are going to sue us. They are going to sue us.”




So Diaz, like any cornered animal, lashes back. It summarily fires its workers, rather than gainfully employ them to clean up. Diaz owes nearly $50,000 in unpaid local and school taxes and fines, and yet Diaz hires lawyers and pays out enormous legal fees in a futile attempt to evade justice.


And then DIAZ goes and sues its victims. For as little as $8.42! Yes, a corporation with over 15 million dollars in annual sales sues in Federal court for 8 bucks, saying that the people driven from their homes “conspired to defraud” Diaz. Other displaced Holley residents are being sued for small amounts as well. (Index Number 02-CV-0357(S), page 19, Second Counterclaim, December 30, 2002, sections 112-115.)


And all this by a corporation that owes almost 50 grand in unpaid local and school taxes.


Diaz’s counterclaim was filed late, contrary to the judge’s order, and should be rejected simply for that.  You can be sure if the citizen’s attorneys filed papers late, or the Attorney General filed papers late, that Diaz would certainly pull every string to get them dismissed.


But it does not matter.  Even if Diaz’s ridiculous and tardy counterclaim is accepted, it will be tossed out for lack of merit. In it, DIAZ  basically says:


“We did not do it; and if we did do it, we did not hurt anyone; and if we did hurt anyone, the statute of limitations says we cannot now be sued for it.”




Tell it to the Attorney General, Mr. Cliff “Not Me, Not Now” Jenney.


The Attorney General says, "the history of recurring spills and releases at the Diaz Plant, including the January 2002 Explosion, constitute repeated illegal acts and persistent illegality." (Paragraph 4, New York State's March 8, 2002 complaint).


The Attorney General puts drug kingpins and Mafia dons in jail. There is nowhere Diaz can hide any more, and that includes West Memphis, Arkansas.  The EPA is a federal agency, and they will see you in court in any state you choose.


Diaz can no longer run nor hide.  It does not matter if they stay or if they leave.  If they stay, they pay.  If they leave, we breathe. Either way, the next task is to thoroughly clean up the DIAZ factory site of its 28 years of toxic waste.  It is a big job.  But then, like their court papers, they did make a big mess of it.


Bank Sues to Collect $4.1 Million
y Arkansas Business Staff - 11/26/2007

“Bank of America is suing two businessmen who ran a West Memphis company in an attempt to collect $4.1 million.

Theodore M. Jenney of Holley, N.Y., and Stanley J. Chiras of Florida are the principals of Diaz Intermediates Corp., which produced chemicals that were supplied to Tetra Industries and other agriculture and pharmaceutical clients.

“In September 2002, the company borrowed $6.5 million and eventually went out of business.

But Jenney and Chiras had each signed guarantees for half of the unpaid principal, plus any interest, court costs and other fees if Diaz defaulted on the loan. In January, the bank notified the two businessmen that the loan was in default. In May, BOA told Jenney and Chiras to pay off the loan, but they didn't.

“The bank has sued in U.S. District Court to collect the money.

Chiras couldn't be reached for comment. Jenney, reached at his home in New York, blamed the bank for the company's problems.

“"All I can tell you is [Bank of America] took over the company and drained all the cash out of it and ruined its viability," he said. "They wanted their money back. And they didn't get it back."

“He said the plant closed in August 2006.

Jenney said Diaz wasn't in financial trouble when it defaulted on the loan. He added that he "couldn't answer too much" about the company's financial situation.

“In 1997, Diaz announced it was building a $4.5 million plant on 2 acres in West Memphis. The company cited a warm reception and a good rapport with city officials and business leaders as reasons for choosing Crittenden County.”

A shortened version of this article is also posted at:

West Memphis business proprietors being sued for $4.1 million


The lawsuit was filed May 18, 2007. Details at


Bankruptcy Trustee Claims Mismanagement by Company

by Tom Rivers, Batavia Daily News

July 16, 2005


BUFFALO - The trustee representing creditors of the bankrupt Diaz Chemical has filed an "adversarial proceeding" against a Diaz sister company, and its owners, seeking they pay creditors for assets that Diaz transferred to Diaz Intermediates, a company that opened in 1998 in West Memphis, Ark.


The trustee, in a complaint filed June 22, also alleges Diaz, behind the leadership of Ted Jenney, his son Clifton Jenney and Stanley Chiras, passed on Diaz technology, confidential trade secrets and other

proprietary information to Diaz Intermediates. That allowed the West Memphis facility to make products similar to Diaz's, yet be beyond the reach of Diaz creditors, attorney Lawrence Brown argued in court papers on behalf of trustee John Ring III, who's seeking to recoup more than $1.4 million for creditors.


"What occurs essentially is a company ends up with the technology, the trade secrets and goodwill and runs with it," Brown told The Daily News.


Diaz listed $1.4 million owed to creditors in bankruptcy papers, but Brown said that figure "is a little light" with the amount due to creditors much more. He didn't put a price on the tally. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is seeking reimbursement for the money it is spending testing and attempting to remediate the former Diaz plant and its neighboring properties. The EPA said it could spend $6 million cleaning up after Diaz. The chemical plant is a federal Superfund site.


Diaz operated in Holley for 30 years before declaring bankruptcy in June 2003. The company had been sued by the state attorney general's office after a chemical leak into the community Jan. 5, 2002. Diaz released

about 80 gallons of 2-chloro-6-fluorophenol and toluene, which are classified as extremely hazardous substances under the federal Clean Air Act.


Diaz officials stated to the Bankruptcy Court the company spent $882,810 in cleanup costs, hotel bills and other expenses for Holley residents after the 2002 leak. Those costs drained the company's cash reserves, Diaz officials told the Bankruptcy Court.


In the AG lawsuit, Diaz owners repeatedly refused to provide financial records, saying the data contained confidential information about its suppliers, the raw materials purchased to create products, its customers,

and products sold to customers, Brown states in the complaint in Bankruptcy Court.


But Brown said the company shared that same information with Diaz Intermediates, which Diaz Chemical VP Clifton Jenney told the court was a

separate company, even though Chiras and the Jenneys also are among the leaders of Diaz Intermediates.


Diaz Chemical received little, if any, financial remuneration for sharing its trade information, as well as equipment, with Diaz Intermediates, Brown told The Daily News. By not receiving compensation for the information and technology given to Diaz Intermediates, Diaz Chemical's leaders mismanaged the company, breached their fiduciary duties to the company's shareholders, and dissipated the corporation's assets, Brown said in the court filing.


Diaz Intermediates should be forced to pay the value of the assets it acquired from Diaz Chemical, Brown said. He wants the court to have a trial to determine the value of the trade secrets, customer lists, technology and other assets Diaz transferred to the Arkansas facility.


Diaz Intermediates, Chiras and the Jenneys should then compensate the bankrupt estate of Diaz Chemical for those assets, so the debtors can be paid, Brown said.





(November, 2004)

Responding to my letter published in the Suburban News of Oct 17, 2004, a reader wrote (Oct 31) that she was "deeply bothered" by "implication that Diaz's owners and/or Diaz Arkansas (aka Diaz Intermediates, or "DINT") are subject to criminal investigation," and termed my letter "misleading." The reader appears to be one of the people who find it singularly difficult to accept that Diaz Chemical is indeed under Federal criminal investigation. This has been verified for the record by the US EPA at the recent October 5 public meeting in Holley, NY, a meeting that the reader evidently failed to attend. There, EPA made the specific public statement that there "is an ongoing criminal investigation" (EPA's words) of Diaz Holley and Diaz Arkansas.

This investigation has been "ongoing" for much longer than most people realize. Over a year ago (Sept 2003), a two-page statement from the office of Michael A. Battle, United States Attorney for Western NY, asserted that a "criminal investigation" of Diaz was underway.

Furthermore, there is correspondence (January 16, 2004) between the US Department of Justice and US Bankruptcy court in which the US Bankruptcy Trustee, John Ring III, states: "I would like to bring a fraudulent conveyance action against Diaz of Arkansas." In court papers (US Bankruptcy Court, Case 1-03-14769), Mr. Ring's attorney, Lawrence C. Brown, states that Diaz' "operations were established in circumstances which the Trustee believes to be questionable, involving the use of the assets of the Debtor (Diaz Holley) to obtain credit for and to support Diaz Intermediates' (Arkansas) operations." (p. 3)

A February 12, 2004 letter from Trustee Ring to the EPA, Department of Justice, and the US Attorney General's office discusses hiring a special counsel specifically for "Adversary Proceedings against Diaz of Arkansas."

That the reader is "deeply bothered" by such documentation is understandable. But whether we like it or not, these are the unpleasant facts of the matter.


(July 23, 2003)

DIAZ CHEMICAL COMPANY owes its own attorneys nearly $300,000. Diaz hasn't paid their phone bills, their electric bills, their company physician, or even Lakeside Memorial Hospital. Diaz didn't even pay the tab for their coffee service.

And it looks like they owe the DuPont chemical company over half a million dollars.

Here's a partial (!) list of who else Diaz owes money to, and how much Diaz owes them:

(Case Number 03-14769)


NYS Taxation and Finance: $199.51

ABF Freight Systems: $1,091.00

ACM Medical Laboratory: $132.70

Aftek, Inc. $458.20

Agilient Technologies: $279.00

Airgas East: $30.46

American Chemical Society: Unpaid Dues of $445.00

American Institute of Chemical Engineering: Unpaid Dues of $390.00

Arch: $342.07

Associated Sales and Bag Co.: $122.33

AT&T: $149.01

Barclay Water Management: $2,145.79

Basco: 182.91

BBL ("Supplies and materials"): $93,205.86

BDI Industrial Bearing Corp.: $$36.72

Brinkmann Instruments: $1,610.13

Browning-Feris Industries: $908.41

C&H Distributors: $140.37

Charles S. Freeman Co.: $407.70

Chemical Distributors, Inc.: $3,050.00

Cingular Wireless: $328.14

Clean Harbors: $9,919.20

Commercial Paint and Imaging: $393.54

Compensation Planning Corporation: $403.91

Corecomm: $3,229.70

Dastech International, Inc.: $336.20

Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co.: $482.33

Day-Timers, Inc.: $93.25


Easylink Services Corporation: $1,544.10

Eden Associates: $189.53

Empire-Emco: $2,682.62

Falls Road Railroad Co., Inc.: $900.00

Forms In A Wink: $202.62


GAB Robins North America, Inc. (Insurance appraisers): $12,975.52

Glass Technology & Services, Inc.: $9,081.00

Gradient Corporation: $9,958.01

Graphics Controls Corporation: $208.62

Hometowne Energy Co.: $64.26


Jackson Welding Supply Co., Inc.: $1,546.35

DIAZ' ATTORNEYS, Jaeckle, Fleishmann & Mugel: $292,733.12

JP Farm Market: $222.03

Kaplan Containers: $490.35



Lehigh Safety Shoe Co.: $401.68

Loomis & Co., Inc.: $2,608.71

Marcor ("Supplies and materials"): $17,788.29

Modern Industries, Inc.: $2,327.20

National Leak Test Center: $54.00

New York State Chemical Alliance: $950.00


Praxair, Inc. ("Supplies and materials"): $12,872.73

Purchase Power: $1,067.73

RAJ METHA, M.D.: $1,837.84

Reed Business Information/Schnell Publishing (Advertising): $4,840.00

Rochester Optical: $619.40

Rochester Paint Center: $75.60

Safety Solutions: $34.56

Service Office Supply: $3,057.32

Servpro ("Supplies and materials"): $22,711.28

Sigman Aldrich, Inc.: $184.40

Sirness Services, Inc.: $381.77

Stetson Chemicals, Inc. ("Supplies and materials"): $16,572.00

Stockham Lumber Co.: $22.89

Swiftlift, Inc.: $16.12


US EPA REGION 2: UNPAID FINE OF **$23,226.19**

UGI Energy Services: $135,762.27 (no explanation is provided in the bankruptcy court documents)

University of Rochester Medical Center: $771.54

Verio, Inc.: $199.80

Verizon Yellow Pages: $192.32

VP Supply Company: $130.17

VWR International: $242.97

Attorneys Woods, Oviatt, Gilman: $825.90

Xerox Corporation: $424.83


And the owners of DIAZ Arkansas PERSONALLY owe the Bank of America OVER FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.

Totally, Diaz owes over 5.2 million dollars. (There are others, mostly individuals, that Diaz owes as well.)

These documents submitted to bankruptcy court carry the signatures of Diaz secretary, Clifton E. Jenney. His stated compensation is indicated as $7,500 per month ($90,000 per year) plus $10,000 for serving as a company director (Section 23, Distributions by a Corporation).

Personally, I think Diaz should have at least paid off Frank's Vacuum Truck Company. But no. Diaz found five grand to pay their bankruptcy attorneys IN ADVANCE (bankruptcy attorneys weren't born yesterday), as "Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtors" indicates. And yet Diaz evidently could not quite manage to pay Holley's VP Supply, just down the way, the $130.00 Diaz owes them. Or even Holley's own Stockham Lumber, Diaz's next-door neighbor, the twenty bucks Diaz owes them.


In addition to the civil lawsuit filed by 173 Holley residents, Diaz also lists the following lawsuits against them:

NYSAG on behalf of NY DEC v. Diaz;

McFadden v. Diaz, an "employment discrimination" suit; and

Boarhead Farms PRP Group v. Diaz, over "site clean up expense."

I said it over a year ago and I will say it again: DEADBEAT DIAZ took the profits at everyone else's expense, whether health, safety or financial.

I think the next lawsuit may come from DuPont, who might just take a burn that Diaz's bosses conveniently have another company ("Diaz Intermediates"), and what I believe are personal lifestyles of the rich and famous. The DuPonts might just bring a court case for their $515,000.

And let's not forget that unpaid EPA fine of over 23 grand.

As for Frank's Vacuum Truck Service, I hope he gets paid, too.


DIAZ CHEMICAL CORPORATION of Holley, NY OPERATED UNLAWFULLY FOR YEARS. The Village of Holley, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the NY State Health Dept. and the US Environmental Protection Agency did virtually nothing to stop it.

Until, finally:

Holley to take Diaz to task over emission levels

by Meaghan M. McDermott, Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle

(December 14, 2002) — HOLLEY — The village of Holley has asked its attorney to crack down on Diaz Chemical Corp. for discharging higher levels of some chemicals into waste water than its industrial-use permit allows.

In a resolution passed unanimously Monday, the Village Board authorized attorney John Sansone to “take whatever steps necessary to investigate, and enforce, the terms of the ... permit on behalf of the village of Holley.”

Mayor Dan Schiavone said those actions could include fines or litigation. He said officials want Diaz to keep its emissions of iron, copper and phenols within legal parameters. “Any contaminants we cannot filter out in treatment could spill into Sandy Creek,” he said, adding that the village could then be liable.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issues a creek pollution-limit permit to the village. The village in turn issues permits to companies allowing them a portion of the total allotment of discharge levels.

Schiavone said he addressed the problem with Diaz in May, but an excessive release of phenols in August spurred the village to take a hard-line stance.

Phenols are weak acetic chemical compounds sometimes used in disinfectants, antiseptics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. High concentrations of some phenols can be toxic. Some phenols are also known as antioxidants and are naturally found in foods such as tea, coffee, olives, cranberries and chocolate.

Diaz Environmental Manager Ron Reid said the company does occasionally exceed the monthly limits set by the permit.

Reid said the wastewater comes from driveways, walkways, daily rinse-downs and “condensate” collected in floor drains.

Reid added that the company takes each violation seriously and whenever it identifies excessive compounds in its wastewater, it takes steps to correct the problem. Reid also said Diaz has caused no damage to Sandy Creek.

Diaz, which has been in Holley since 1974, has been under fire since Jan. 5, when a pressure buildup in a chemical storage tank blew a relief valve open, spewing 75 gallons of steam, toluene and little-known compound 2-chloro-6-fluorophenol into the air.

Company officials have apologized for the spill and maintain that CFP -- a compound used by the pharmaceutical industry -- is not harmful.

Schiavone said his goal is not to shut Diaz down.

“They (Diaz) do have a good track record with providing scholarships, helping to build playgrounds and donating expensive equipment to the fire departments. But I don’t think the community should tolerate pollution.”


July 1997: Diaz dumps double the lawful amount of IRON; greatly exceeds its permit for DISSOLVED SOLIDS; and dumps FOUR AND ONE HALF TIMES the legal limit for PHENOLS into Holley sewers.

August 1997: Diaz dumped TEN TIMES (1,000%) the legal limit of PHENOLS into Holley village sewers.

December 1997: Diaz puts EIGHTY TIMES (8,000%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

March, 1998: Diaz puts ONE HUNDRED TIMES (10,000%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

June, 1998: Diaz releases SEVEN TIMES (700%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

July, 1998: Diaz puts DOUBLE the legal limit of PHENOLS into Holley sewers.

December, 1998: Diaz puts SIX TIMES (600%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

January, 1999: Diaz releases THREE AND ONE HALF TIMES (350%) of the legal limit of PHENOLS into Holley sewers.

March, 1999: Diaz releases DOUBLE (200%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

June, 1999: Diaz AGAIN releases DOUBLE the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

September, 1999: Diaz dumps nearly THREE AND ONE HALF TIMES the legal limit of NICKEL into Holley sewers.

December, 1999: Diaz YET AGAIN releases DOUBLE the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

March, 2000: Diaz again exceeds legal limit for releasing NICKEL, and also ONCE MORE releases DOUBLE the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

June, 2000: Diaz YET AGAIN releases DOUBLE the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers, PLUS Diaz dumps excessive amounts of BENZENE.

September, 2000: Diaz exceeds legal limit for flushing NICKEL into Holley's sewers.

March, 2001: Diaz dumps DOUBLE the legal limit for PHENOLS; AND Diaz dumps TWELVE TIMES (1,200%) the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

May, 2001: Diaz dumps FIFTEEN TIMES (1,500%) the legal limit of COPPER into Holley wastewater.

September, 2001: Diaz AGAIN releases DOUBLE the legal limit of the heavy metal MOLYBDENUM into Holley sewers.

October, 2001: Diaz exceeds legal limit for releasing IRON, AND Diaz dumps TWO AND ONE HALF TIMES (250%) the legal limit of PHENOLS into Holley sewers.

(Source: Industrial User Wastewater Permit Monthly Reports, available on request from the Village of Holley, NY.)

Remember: This tally does not even include their 17 violations in the year 2002, for which they were recently fined $17,000. It also does not include their wastewater lawbreaking prior to July 1997, nor does it include DIAZ's dangerous releases into soil or air that happen continually.


Do not let any of Diaz's most vocal Li-az try to tell you that the pollution permit violations are not really lawbreaking. Diaz's Environmental Manager Ronald J. Reid and also Diaz Vice President for Operations Gregory C. Goodridge both signed a letter dated January 26, 1996 acknowledging the requirements of the "Village of Holley Sewer Use Law."

That word again: Law.

A law is a law. Breaking a law is illegal. Repeatedly breaking the law is repeated illegality. The NY State Attorney General is suing Diaz for "repeated illegality."
CLICK HERE TO READ the Attorney General's case against Diaz.

LATE ONE NIGHT, a chemical plant had an accident. "It was right next to a large community. It happened at night; everybody was there. There was no warning. And when this accident happened, the people in the plant ran the other way, and didn’t warn anybody." (Charles Perrow, PhD, author of "Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies.")

These are actual quotes about a chemical disaster you may have heard of. No, this particular one was Union Carbide in India, not Diaz in Holley.

But it sure sounds familiar.

Especially that part about how they "didn’t warn anybody." The 911 tapes and other records clearly show that Diaz played down the disaster they caused. And there is no better word than "disaster" to describe what happens when an explosion at a chemical plant that coats an entire neighborhood with smelly poison, forcing residents to leave their homes for nearly a full year. The United States EPA agrees; that’s why they and the nation’s taxpayers (and NOT Diaz, who has STILL not even paid their local taxes) have been footing the bill for the relocation of displaced Holley families.

When Ralph Nader commented on Bhopal, he focused on the "very sloppy operation of the plant. First of all, it shouldn’t have been positioned and sited in that area. You put that in a more remote area. Basically, it was negligence up and down the line."

Just like Diaz Chemical Corporation in Holley.

In the Union Carbide accident in India, thousands died instantly while they slept. At least no one in Holley has died, thank heaven. At least so far. But the millennium is young, and so are many of the children who have breathed 2-chloro, 6-fluorophenol while in their yards, their beds and cribs, and at their school bus stop. The most detailed and most up-to-date official assessment by our state and federal authorities clearly states that there IS a continuing risk of health problems, including cancer, for Holley residents. The risk is "very low to low," their report says.

But who knows for sure, especially long-term? A rule in toxicology is that low doses of a poison over a long period of time are often just as bad as high doses over a short time. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "SAFE" OR "ACCEPTABLE" CANCER RISK. NEVER.

Just because we were luckier than Bhopal does not mean that luck can protect Holley from the tons of toxins DIAZ plays with while we sleep. And there they are, still cooking up their contaminants on Jackson Street.

"The more complex the (chemical manufacturing) system, the more likely an unforeseen interaction of small failures will cause a disaster. And this is to be feared. For the first time in history, engineers can wipe out whole cities by mistake." (Dean Vallas, "Engineering Disasters")

Residential areas are no place for chemical plants. Never have been; never will be.


"Diaz has given so much back to the community, especially the Holley Schools."

Yeah, right. There can be no possible price on the long-term health dangers that Diaz pollution inflicts on the children of Holley. Scholarships to some on the one hand do not buy the right to hurt all kids with the other hand. But wait: there’s more.


It’s true: Diaz has not even paid its school tax.

According to official records at the Orleans County Treasurer’s Office, as of Dec 12, DIAZ OWES AT LEAST $27,464.26 IN UNPAID, OVERDUE HOLLEY SCHOOL TAXES and penalties. And this is just on DIAZ property in the village, and does not include other Diaz real estate holdings in our area. (Example: Did you know that, until very recently, DIAZ owned many acres of land in the town of Byron? There’s more, folks, much more than the Jackson Street property at issue here.)

This holiday season, let’s all chip in and rent Diaz boss Clifford Jenney a U-Haul. But first, Cliff, there is a not-so-small ADDITIONAL matter of $15,195.58 that Diaz owes the Village of Holley in unpaid, overdue VILLAGE taxes. And don’t forget to add on $1,367.60 in penalties with that.

So the total that DIAZ owes the taxpayers and children of Holley is over $44,027.44. And it is MONTHS past due.


1) RESOLVED AND PASSED December 10, 2002 , at the Holley Village Board Meeting BY UNANIMOUS TRUSTEE VOTE:

"WHEREAS...Diaz Chemical Company appears to be in violation of the terms of the (Village's Industrial Use) permit; and

"WHEREAS...efforts have been made in the past to amicably discuss, and resolve, alleged permit violations to no avail;

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Attorney (John Sansone) is hereby authorized to take whatever steps necessary to investigate, and enforce, the terms of the aforesaid permit on behalf of the Village of Holley."

This is, to my knowledge, the first time in 28 years that our local government has acted against Diaz's polluting our village. Thanks to Mayor Schiavone and the Trustees for this important decision.


AND: The $60 million civil suit by 173 residents against Diaz is now in Federal court. And we will win.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GETS RESTRAINING ORDER to stop DIAZ from sneaking any more of their factory's equipment out of town. The rumors evidently were true: DIAZ was seen trucking its equipment out of its beleaguered plant in Holley, NY, presumably to its other facility down south. (One or more of the truck drivers talked and confirmed that, yes, they were going to the DIAZ Arkansas plant..) Many think this is to try avoid asset seizure after DIAZ loses the lawsuits pending against the company. Assistant Attorney General Linda White got the restraining order from Judge Punch, Orleans County Supreme Court, on Tuesday, October 15. The judge granted the request as written and immediately.

Most likely to Diaz Intermediates Corporation, sources say, its other manufacturing facility in West Memphis, Arkansas

What do they do there? According to DIAZ' own website 
(, or at least until they try to hide that, too) the Arkansas plant "has been designed for large-scale Brominations and other operations similar to those carried out in Holley."  There they make Bromobenzene, para-Dibromobenzene, 1,2,4-Tribromobenzene, n-Butylbromide, and n-Propylbromide. What a joy for children living in West Memphis!

(October, 2002) DIAZ BOSS CLIFF JENNEY TELLS REPORTER THAT DIAZ CHEMICAL AND DIAZ INTERMEDIATES ARE SEPARATE ENTITIES.  Technically, sure they are.  It's an old accounting trick.  But answer me these questions three:

1) WHO ARE THE PRIMARY OWNERS OF EACH COMPANY? I'll bet it's the Jenney family in each case. If I'm wrong, please correct me. No offers so far.

2) If they are "separate," how come DIAZ says, again at its website, that "DIAZ manufactures several families of chemicals which are marketed both by DIAZ and by Diaz Intermediates Corporation (DINT).

3) However, if they are "separate" on a technicality, can anyone fail to see why the Attorney General and a judge agreed to a restraining order to stop DIAZ from moving its equipment from Holley down to Arkansas?

Believe it or not, DIAZ has refused to comply with NY Attorney General's repeated demands for the company's financial records and documents.  DIAZ attorney cites "proprietary information that could be used by competitors" as reason. (Rochester, NY "R-News," Sept 30, 2002)  The Attorney General's investigation of DIAZ was therefore stepped up.


Official documents confirm DIAZ Chemical Company  violating pollution laws most months of the year 2002. 

August, 2002:  DIAZ dumps 1,000% (TEN TIMES!) the legal limit of  PHENOLS into Village of Holley sewers.

July, 2002: DIAZ dumps over 600% of the legal limit of iron.

May, 2002: DIAZ dumps over 700% more than the legal limit of PHENOLS into village sewers.

April, 2002: DIAZ maximum pollution flow limit exceeded

March, 2002: DIAZ flushes 33% more waste copper than the law allows.

February, 2002: DIAZ dumps 500% over the legal limit of PHENOLS into village sewers.

(Source: Industrial User Wastewater Permit Monthly Reports, available from the Village of Holley offices.)

DIAZ CHEMICAL SUES THE OWNER OF THIS WEBSITE.  In papers filed, DIAZ seeks to silence Andrew Saul's criticisms of their company, even though the state's Attorney General has stated in court that DIAZ engages in  "repeated illegal acts and persistent illegality" and has been termed a "Public Nuisance" that carries on "abnormally dangerous activities." Saul has been one among many citizens involved in the DIAZ DANGERS Newsletter. Here is the complete text of two of the specific Newsletters that DIAZ takes such exception to:

Editorial Opinion by Andrew Saul, NY State permanently certified chemistry teacher and former SUNY environmental health adjunct assistant professor. 

**BREAKING NEWS!** DEADBEAT DIAZ DIAZ owes over $10,000 in hotel bills and refuses to pay them, according to a meeting called by Ralph Dollinger, owner of the Holiday Inn Express in Brockport. This is has been "home" for chemically-flushed-out residents of Holley, who have been reluctantly living there now for MONTHS. DIAZ, which has been court ordered to pay for displaced residents' housing, is probably in contempt of court. And so to the DIAZ bosses who write, or in this case won't write, the checks. Such as Cliff "Luxury Red Convertible" Jenney, who has been spotted zipping through Holley in a new, flashy, expensive automobile. Cliff's company says they don't have the money. Where did it go, Cliff? Your company boasts over $15 million a year in sales. Man, that's a lot of convertibles, even ritzy ones like BMW's. 

"Good Neighbor" Diaz is trying to welch on even providing out-of-the-rain shelter for the people it poisons. Fortunately, Assistant Attorney General Linda White is a law enforcement officer who is right on the ball. All have been impressed with her prompt and appropriate actions to put an end to chemical EXPLOSIONS at DIAZ's Jackson Street hazardous waste dump, that puts SO MUCH BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY. Everything but compensation for victims, that is. Shame on you, Mr. Jenney

DIAZ TO BE DRAGGED INTO COURT AGAIN by the Assistant Attorney General, in order to reinstate Alex Hinkley's right to shelter while his house is decontaminated, or sold. And it is not certain if either are even possible at this point. The trial is scheduled for May 24th, Orleans County Court (in the old Arnold Gregory Hospital) in Albion, NY at 2:30 PM. All are welcome. Be sure to be early for a good seat. 

SCHOLARSHIPS ARE BEING FUNDED RIGHT AND LEFT by Holley business people and private citizens. Hundreds of little trees for Arbor Day: PAID FOR by donations, without a cent from DIAZ. DARE T-shirts for drug prevention: PAID FOR by donations, without a cent from DIAZ. And more scholarships are coming, but often quietly. That's because many a person in Holley knows that in giving, you are not to let your right hand know what your left is doing. THANK YOU TO ALL who have already come forward quickly, and without fanfare, to REALLY give back to the community. We can now see just who our "good neighbors" truly are, . . . and in the case of DIAZ, aren't. 

MAYOR SCHIAVONE GETS NY STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO OFFER URINE TESTING TO ALL WHO WANT IT. Mayor Schiavone writes, "I have been able to get the DOH to offer urine testing for CFP to anyone who lives or works within the Village. They will be at the Village office from Noon until 8pm, Tuesday May 21 to hand out collection kits. They will be back the next day to collect t he samples (early morning and PM hours will be available, times to be announced). "I encourage everyone to get tested. This may be your final chance." Thank you, Mr. Mayor. 

DIAZ DANGERS NEWSLETTER Number 19 (April 18, 2002)


A LAWSUIT WAS COMMENCED TONIGHT, April 18, and entered in Town of Murray Court to compel DIAZ to pay for chemical damage to Mayor Schiavone's personal automobile, which was downwind of and damaged by 2-Chloro, 6-Fluorophenol (and who knows which of dozens of other chemicals) emitted by the explosion at Diaz on the night of Jan 5, 2002. Mayor Schiavone is seeking to make DIAZ pay the $2,200 that he had to spend to have his car repainted.  DIAZ representatives had previously said they would pay for the repainting, but after it was done tried the oldest sneaky legal trick in the book.  They handed the mayor a four-page document to sign, releasing DIAZ from ALL claims of ANY kind at ANY time, past present and future, for ever and ever.

Our mayor did not fall for that one, though, and refused to sign.  So DIAZ refused to pay.

And this is how they treat our top elected official? Can you believe the arrogance?

Of course, this is the same DIAZ Chemical that has essentially said that the Attorney General of New York State, Elliot Spitzer, is deluded. That's because the Attorney General's own statewide lawsuit against DIAZ says that the chemical company has had a number of EXPLOSIONS at their now infamous Jackson Street plant (and Orleans County's #1 hazardous waste site).

Which is, of course, true.

But a couple of weeks ago, DIAZ underboss Wally Sanford told the Batavia Daily News that there have been no explosions at DIAZ.  Those were just "pressure releases." You're a good company man, Mr. Sanford.  You go right ahead and try to tell the world that the highest law enforcement officer in the Empire State is a liar.

Note to Wally: one of your most recent "pressure releases" trashed our mayor's car, and your company doesn't seem to want to take responsibility for fixing it.  Your company tries to punish the village's children by stopping their scholarships. You fire your own workers, but DIAZ bosses still have THEIR jobs.

Everyone can clearly see why this company simply must be taken to court. Judges and juries have the power to curb DIAZ once and for all.  DIAZ's strategy in years past has been to handle complaints and claims one at a time, and always keep it quiet, private, and out of court.

This "divide and conquer" approach might have worked then, but no longer. The people of Holley, NY have seen the light, and DIAZ is going to see yet another judge.
(end of Newsletters)


NY Attorney General Sues DIAZ CHEMICAL for "repeated illegal acts and persistent illegality." DIAZ termed a "Public Nuisance" that carries on "abnormally dangerous activities." These are the words of the highest law enforcement officer in the State of New York.
CLICK HERE TO READ New York State's complete March 8, 2002 complaint as filed in court.  (This is not the civil lawsuit, but a separate action by the Attorney General and the NY Department of Environmental Conservation against Diaz for repeatedly breaking the law and endangering citizens.)

The history-making $60 million civil lawsuit against DIAZ Chemical now being heard in Federal Court, Buffalo, NY. (commenced Sept. 30, 2002)

In July, a judgment was entered against DIAZ by a Town of Murray  judge, ordering DIAZ to pay damages to Holley Mayor Daniel Schiavone. DIAZ's explosion-released chemicals did over $2,000 of damage to the mayor's car. DIAZ, once it was forced to, finally paid the bill.

DIAZ violates judge's court order requiring that they provide and pay for housing for the people driven from their homes by DIAZ's illegal release of smelly 2, chloro 6, fluorophenol.  DIAZ, with over $15 million/year in sales, says they have no money. (Rochester, NY: May 14, 2002)

DIAZ Attorney Tom Walsh disputes NY State Attorney General; compares long term safety of 2,chloro, 6-fluorophenol to gasoline. (Rochester, NY: May 16, 2002)

173 people in Holley, NY sue DIAZ chemical for $60 Million in health and property damage. The 30-page complaint filed in federal court on May 15, 2002.

Read the full text of environmental attorney Alan Knauf's March 25, 2002 statement to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in response to their "too little, too late"  clean-up proposals: Click here

Read back issues of the VERY FIRST DIAZ DANGERS NEWSLETTERS (Print version). 
Issue No.1, page 1.
Issue No 1, page 2.
Issue No 2, page 1.
Issue No 2, page 2
Issue No 3, page 1
Issue No 3, page 2

(These reprints are courtesy of the dozens of people who have written, contributed reporting, edited, printed and distributed this citizen's newsletter.)

For UPDATED information on the civil lawsuit by 173 people against Diaz Chemical Corporation, please call Richard J. Lippes' office at (716) 884-4800 or write to Allen and Lippes, 1260 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209. You may also contact co-counsel Alan J. Knauf at Knauf Shaw LLP, 975 Crossroads Building, 2 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614. 585-546-8430.

Special Message to DIAZ employees and their families: Click Here

Anonymous message FROM some very company-loyal DIAZ employees: Click Here

Our factual response to the above message: Click Here

All the Holley Public Schools are located less than one mile from one of the most dangerous chemical plants in the Northeastern USA, the Diaz Chemical Corporation. If there is a significant accident at the plant, and the wind blows from the south, hundreds and hundreds of children at school will have only minutes to live. If you think this is an exaggeration, scroll down this page and read more.

An explosion at Diaz Chemical Company released over 80 gallons of a mixture containing 2-Chloro, 6-Fluoro Phenol (plus other chemicals) into our air late Saturday night, Jan 5, 2002. Many houses were literally sprayed with this smelly poison. Some residents have had to leave their homes now for nearly NINE MONTHS. 

What do we know about 2-Chloro-6-Fluoro Phenol?
Not enough, but we’re going to find out, because, now, we are a village of guinea pigs.

We DO know that 2-Chloro-6-Fluoro Phenol does NOT belong in our air, or in our ground water, or in our yards, or in our houses.  It does not belong in your house, on your car, in your carpet, or in your family's lungs.  BUT IT IS THERE ALL THE SAME, THANKS TO DIAZ CHEMICAL CORPORATION, 40 Jackson Street, Hamlin, NY 14464. Phone: 716-638-6321. FAX: 716-638-8356, .

Phenols in general are skin-peeling products. ( )

2-chloro-Phenol is not a safe substance. It is classified as "CHEMICAL WASTE PROHIBITED FROM DRAIN DISPOSAL." Toluene is also prohibited. (From: Chemical List date: May 13, 2001 , Oregon Health and Science University


Phenols may be a cause of ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's, and Asthma 
( )

Holley has a higher than average number of children with special education needs and leaning disabilities. What role does Diaz have in this?  IF DIAZ CHEMICALS HURT OUR CHILDREN'S ABILITY TO LEARN, A FEW  SCHOLARSHIPS IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH! Not by a long shot.

WHAT ABOUT THAT SIREN that is supposed to warn us of a chemical accident at the Diaz plant?  IT NEVER SOUNDED.  WHY NOT?

Why weren't village residents evacuated, or at least notified, about this chemical release until AFTER you breathed it, AFTER it got all over your house and lawn, and AFTER you saw it on the TV news?

Diaz does not even know the long-term effects of  2-Chloro-6-Fluoro Phenol. Yet they make it, and spill it, and YOU find out a day or two later… when you watch the TV news.


DIAZ profits while polluting our homes. 

Read for yourself (further down this page) the health hazards of the CHEMICALS DIAZ HAS USED  BY THE TON: Benzene, Sodium Hydroxide ("DRANO"),Toluene, 2-Chloro 6-Fluoro Phenol, and BROMINE.  These are all extremely dangerous poisons.

DIAZ CHEMICAL CORPORATION must be held to a MUCH higher safety standard.  This is our village, our air, and our water.  We are all in this together.

Did you also know that:
Over two dozen photographs have been accumulated, unmistakably documenting that large tractor-trailer trucks and CHEMICAL TANKERS KNOWN TO BE CARRYING MANY TONS OF DEADLY  BROMINE,  and SODIUM HYDROXIDE ("Drano"), and other caustic substances are head right for the entrance into the Diaz chemical plant? This puts huge toxic chemical trucks right where small children live, play, and wait for their school bus. 

BROMINE is included on the State of California’s list of Extremely Hazardous Waste. 

172.101: 8 - Corrosive material

172.101  AND SUBPART E: Corrosive, poison


TOXICITY DATA: 1000 ppm inhalation-human LCLo; 750 ppm/9 minutes
  inhalation-mouse LC50; 2700 mg/m3 inhalation-rat LC50; 180 ppm/6.5 hours
  inhalation-rabbit LCLo; 14 mg/kg oral-human LDLo; 2600 mg/kg oral-rat LD50;
  3100 mg/kg oral-mouse LD50; 4160 mg/kg oral-rabbit LD50; 5500 mg/kg
  oral-guinea pig LD50.
LOCAL EFFECTS: Corrosive- inhalation, skin, and eyes; lacrimator.
ACUTE TOXICITY LEVEL: Toxic by inhalation. Moderately toxic by ingestion.
TARGET EFFECTS: Poisoning may affect the heart, respiratory and central nervous systems.

AT INCREASED RISK FROM EXPOSURE: Persons with pulmonary and respiratory disorders.

INHALATION: CORROSIVE/TOXIC. 10 ppm Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health.
  ACUTE EXPOSURE- Exposure to 1 ppm may cause irritation. 3.5 ppm has a detectable odor; 10 ppm is severely irritation and may be intolerable: 40-60 ppm is dangerous for brief exposures; 1000 ppm is rapidly fatal.

  Inhalation of small amounts may cause copious mucous secretion, blephritis, coughing, rhinitis or nosebleeds, feelings of oppression, epistaxis, vertigo, and headache. Delayed symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pains. In addition, respiratory difficulty with hoarseness, asthma, dyspnea, and crepitations in the lungs as well as as well as generalized vesicular, morbilliform or measles like rashes may occur. Inhalation of high concentrations may cause inflammatory lesions of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, fatal chemical burns, respiratory failure. The tongue and palate may appear inflamed and edematous with a characteristic odor of the breath. Glottal spasms and asthmatic bronchitits may occur. Pulmonary edema, pneumonitis or pneumonia may be delayed for several hours. A case of pneumomediastinum induced by accidental occupational exposure was reported. The pathology of animals exposed to 300 ppm for 3 hours showed pulmonary edema, pseudomembranous deposit on the trachea and bronchi, and hemorrhages of the gastric mucosa. Functional disturbances of the central nervous system were observed in animals that died several days after exposure.

  CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Prolonged or repeated exposure to concentrations less than 0.1 mg/m3 may cause headache, chest pains, anorexia, indigestion, irritability and joint pains. Persons exposed to excessive concentrations for 1 year complain of headache, pain in the region of the heart, increasing irritability, loss of appetite, joint pains and dyspepsia.  After 5-6 years of exposure to this level there may be loss of corneal reflexes, pharyngitis, vegetative disorders, thyroid hyperplasia    accompanied by thyroid dysfunction and bone marrow depression.  Cardiovascular disorders may occur in the form of myocardial degeneration and hypotension. Functional and secretory disorders of the digestive tract may also occur. Hematologic effects may include inhibition of leukopoiesis, leukocytosis, moderate hypoglycemia or altered blood sugar curves, hypercholesterolemia, reduction of total bilirubin, decreased hemoglobin concentration and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rates.

   Bromine may be deposited in the tissues as bromides and accumulate to cause central nervous system disorders and effects of bromism as detailed in chronic ingestion.

  ACUTE EXPOSURE- Concentrated vapors may be irritating or harmful. Direct contact with the liquid may cause a mild, cooling sensation followed by a burning sensation. If not removed promptly redness and pain may result with brown discoloration, vesicles, blisters, discharging pustules, furuncles, destructive burns and deep-seated ulcers which are slow to heal and scar. Death may occur if burns cover a large portion of the body.

  CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Prolonged or repeated contact may cause dermatitis and slow healing ulcers.

  ACUTE EXPOSURE- Vapors may cause irritation with redness, pain, blurred vision and burns, lacrimation and photophobia. The liquid may cause burns. Animals exposed to 180 ppm for 7 hours showed severe irritation with clouding and ulceration of the cornea. Loss of vision is possible.
  CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Effects depend on concentration and duration of exposure. Repeated or prolonged contact with corrosive substances may result in conjunctivitis or effects as in acute exposure.

  ACUTE EXPOSURE- May cause burns of the mouth, throat and stomach. Brown discoloration and corrosion of the tongue and mucous membranes, sore throat, vomiting, and abdominal spasm may occur. Severe gastroenteritis with possible ulceration or perforation, prostration and circulatory collapse may also occur. Dilute solutions may also cause fatal gastroenteritis. 

CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Mice fed 0.02-0.2 mg/kg for 3 months exhibited increased blood sugar, decreased cholinesterase and amylaminase activity, alopecia (hair loss and baldness) and behavioral changes. Bromine may be stored in the body as bromides. If sufficient amounts accumulate, effects of bromism including confusion, irritability, tremor, memory loss, anorexia, emaciation, headache,slurred speech, delusions, psychotic behavior, ataxia, stupor and coma may occur. An acneiform papular eruption of the face and hands may also occur.

ANTIDOTE: No specific antidote. 


 Benzene can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin. 
 Exposure can cause you to become dizzy and lightheaded. Higher levels can cause convulsions and death. 
 Exposure can irritate the nose and throat and may cause an upset stomach and vomiting. 
 Benzene can cause an irregular heart beat that can lead to death. 
 Prolonged exposure can cause fatal damage to the blood (aplastic anemia). 

 Benzene is on the Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, DOT, NIOSH, IARC, NTP, CAG, DEP, NFPA and EPA. 
 It is on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because it is a CARCINOGEN, a MUTAGEN and is FLAMMABLE. 

 Exposure to hazardous substances should be routinely evaluated. This may include collecting air samples. Under OSHA 1910.20, you have a legal right to obtain copies of sampling results from your employer. If you think you are experiencing any work-related health problems, see a doctor trained to recognize occupational diseases. Take this Fact Sheet with you. 

 ODOR THRESHOLD = 12.0 ppm
 The odor threshold only serves as a warning of exposure. Not smelling it does not mean you are not being exposed. 

OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 1 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift, and 5 ppm which should not be exceeded in any 10 minute period. 
ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 10 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift
NIOSH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 1.0 ppm, which should not be exceeded during any 60 minute period. 

(Remember: YOU DO NOT EVEN SMELL BENZENE UNTIL 12 PPM.  Benzene can hurt you before you smell it.)

 Benzene is a CANCER-CAUSING AGENT in humans. There may be no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen, so all contact should be reduced to the lowest possible level. 
 The above exposure limits are for air levels only. Skin contact may also cause overexposure. 

 Post hazard and warning information in the work area. In addition, as part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all information on the health and safety hazards of Benzene to potentially exposed workers. 

Acute Health Effects
The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to Benzene: 

 Exposure can cause symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, and vomiting. Convulsions and coma, or sudden death from irregular heart beat, may follow high exposures.  Exposure can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. 

Chronic Health Effects
The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to Benzene and can last for months or years: 

Cancer Hazard 
 Benzene is a CARCINOGEN in humans. It has been shown to cause leukemia. 
 Many scientists believe there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen. 

Reproductive Hazard 
 There is limited evidence that Benzene is a teratogen (causes birth defects) in animals. Until further testing has been done, it should be treated as a possible teratogen in humans. 

Other Long-Term Effects 
 Repeated exposure can damage the blood-forming organs causing a condition called aplastic anemia. This can cause death. Long-term exposure may cause drying and scaling of the skin. 

Before beginning employment and at regular times after that, the following are recommended: 
 Complete blood count. 
 Urinary Phenol (a test to see if Benzene is in the body). 
Any evaluation should include a careful history of past and present symptoms with an exam. Medical tests that look for damage already done are not a substitute for controlling exposure. 
Request copies of your medical testing. You have a legal right to this information under OSHA 1910.20. 
 Workers whose clothing has been contaminated by Benzene should change into clean clothing promptly. 
 Do not take contaminated work clothes home. Family members could be exposed. 
 Contaminated work clothes should be laundered by individuals who have been informed of the hazards of exposure to Benzene. 
 If there is the possibility of skin exposure, emergency shower facilities should be provided. 
 On skin contact with Benzene, immediately wash or shower to remove the chemical. 

If Benzene is spilled or leaked, take the following steps: 
 Restrict persons not wearing protective equipment from area of spill or leak until clean-up is complete.  Keep Benzene out of a confined space, such as a sewer, because of the possibility of an explosion, unless the sewer is designed to prevent the build-up of explosive concentrations. 

 It may be necessary to contain and dispose of Benzene as a HAZARDOUS WASTE. Contact your Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or your regional office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for specific recommendations. 

Eye Contact
 Immediately flush with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. 

Skin Contact
 Quickly remove contaminated clothing. Immediately wash area with large amounts of soap and water. Seek medical attention. 

 Remove the person from exposure. 
 Begin rescue breathing if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. 

Prepared by: NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Right to Know Program
CN 368, Trenton, NJ 08625-0368 
(609) 984-2202 

Sensitivity Data: BENZENE
Benzene is irritant to skin.

Environmental Impact
(One) important source is emissions associated with its production and use as an industrial intermediate. In addition, there are discharges into water from industrial effluents and losses during spills. If benzene is released to soil, it will be subject to rapid volatilization near the surface and that which does not evaporate will be highly to very highly mobile in the soil and may leach to groundwater. …Benzene is fairly soluble in water… The primary routes of exposure are inhalation of contaminated air… and consumption of contaminated drinking water. 
(Source: Spectrum Laboratories Inc. Ft. Lauderdale, FL & Savannah, GA  )

TOLUENE was released into our air and water and homes on Saturday night. Toluene is a harmful chemical.  It is a PAINT THINNER.  Imagine what it does to  children’s lungs.


(Excerpted from "USE & STORAGE OF TOLUENE" (Code: SB-94-7, Date: 7/8/94, NEW YOUR STATE DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION)

Toluene (or toluol) is an organic aromatic solvent found in paint and some degreasing products. Toluene is a colorless liquid with a benzene-like odor and a flash point below 73 F (class 1B flammable). Toluene can enter the body through inhalation and exposure to high airborne concentrations and can cause neurological impairment similar to intoxication. Skin absorption is another way toluene can enter the body. Toluene will dissolve fats and oils in the skin to produce drying and cracking.

All operations involving the use of toluene shall be performed outdoors whenever 
possible. In all cases, the use of toluene will require proper ventilation, including exhaust systems as appropriate for indoor exposures.

Keep fire and flames from emptied drums and avoid breathing residue odors.

Toluene shall not be stored in occupied buildings unless kept in approved storage rooms especially designed for such use. 

'Flammable - Keep Fire Away'.

Chemical goggles and faceshield, and neoprene gloves shall be worn during dispensing, mixing, hose and spray gun purging, and cleaning operations.

Toluene requires respirators with activated charcoal filters. Toluene has early warning properties to alert respirator wearers of exposure at very low concentrations. As soon as the odor of toluene enters the mask, cartridges shall be replaced. Store cartridges in an airtight plastic bag to prevent the activated charcoal from absorbing material from the room air and losing its effectiveness.

Skin contact with toluene should be avoided. Hands and other skin areas shall not be cleansed with toluene. Contaminated clothing resulting from a spill or splash must be removed. After contact, skin must be washed with soap and water or other suitable cleaner. Eyes must be flushed with clean water for at least 15 minutes after contact, and medical attention provided.

What does it take to get a local industry to be responsive to public safety concerns?

The civil lawsuits might just do it.


Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

Neither the author nor the webmaster has authorized the use of their names or the use of any material contained within in connection with the sale, promotion or advertising of any product or apparatus. Single-copy reproduction for individual, non-commercial use is permitted providing no alterations of content are made, and credit is given.



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