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Lead Use & Releases in Massachusetts

Organization(s) Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description In Massachusetts, facilities covered under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) reported lead use, byproduct, and releases as part of required TURA reporting. The largest use of lead was reported by the state’s municipal waste combustors (MWC) (2,642,987 pounds or 79 percent of total lead use), due to lead in the trash that MWCs combust. Nearly 100 percent of this lead becomes chemically and physically bound in ash that is disposed in lined on-site or off-site landfills; note that of the 819,467 pounds of on-site releases of lead, 818,534 pounds were in ash,and 933 pounds were released as air emissions. The 1,823,519 pounds of lead reported as transferred off-site was in ash disposed of in off-site landfills.

The second largest use was in the fabricated metals sector (363,406 pounds or 11 percent of the total reported use), where the metal is used to create cans, drums, plumbing fixtures, and other metal objects.

The electronic equipment industry (i.e., printed circuit boards, semiconductors) represented the largest number of filers (37) as a distinct group. This sector reported a total use of 119,651 pounds or 4 percent of the total reported. Typically, facilities in this sector use lead in soldering operations.

The largest reported use of lead compounds was in the wire and cable manufacturing sector (2,622,713 pounds or 40 percent of total lead compounds use). In this sector, lead compounds are mostly used as heat stabilizers in wire insulation.

Together, the 10 facilities in the rubber and plastics sector accounted for 28 percent or 1,856,941 pounds of the total lead compound use. In this sector, lead compounds are generally made into resins and used as stabilizers to protect plastic and rubber polymers from degrading during heat processing.

One hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF) accounted for 1,372,798 pounds or 21 percent of total lead compound use. The annual amounts processed by this facility can vary greatly from year to year.

More Info www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/priorities/priorities
Project Contact
Name Cynthia Chaves
Phone 617-292-5848
Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Electronics, Metal Fabrication, Metal Finishing and Electroplating, Municipal Garages, Plastics & Resins Industries
Activity Keywords Research and development
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 16 No. 1, Spring 2006 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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