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Expert tells Ridgewood officials: Chemical on utility poles not toxic

Expert tells Ridgewood officials: Chemical on utility poles not toxic
Monday October 21, 2013, 12:23 PM
The Ridgewood News

A consultant engaged by Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) told Glen Rock and Ridgewood officials that the moisture sealant used on new utility poles in both towns is considered safe, likening its toxicity level to that of aspirin.

Glen Rock Mayor John van Keuren said last week that the Tennessee-based speaker – described as a tree preservative expert – delivered a PowerPoint presentation at an Oct. 11 meeting of municipal, county and state officials and PSE&G representatives.

The mayor said the “bottom line” of the talk was that the preservative – pentachlorophenol, or penta – is considered “quite safe, with no possible lingering toxic effects” and that “its production is very closely overseen by EPA (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).”

The meeting, held in Hackensack, was called in response to local concerns about the substance’s possible health impacts, following PSE&G’s Sept. 19 removal and replacement of stained soil under poles recently installed on Hope Street and South Maple Avenue in Ridgewood. The installations were part of the utility’s massive power and infrastructure upgrade project under way in both communities and neighboring towns since last spring.

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2 thoughts on “Expert tells Ridgewood officials: Chemical on utility poles not toxic

  1. A consultant engaged by PSE&G told GR and RW that the PSE&G Pentachlorophenol (PCP) preservative was safe and likened its toxicity level to aspirin (see main article).

    From Wikipedia at

    Short-term exposure to large amounts of PCP can cause harmful effects on the liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, nervous system,[1] immune system, and gastrointestinal tract. Elevated temperature, profuse sweating, uncoordinated movement, muscle twitching, and coma are additional side effects.
    Contact with PCP (particularly in the form of vapor) can irritate the skin, eyes, and mouth.

    Long-term exposure to low levels such as those that occur in the workplace can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, blood, and nervous system.[1] Finally exposure to PCP is also associated with carcinogenic, renal, and neurological effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxicity Class classifies PCP in group B2 (probable human carcinogen).

    Doesn’t sound like aspirin to me…

  2. gee a consultant hired by PSEG… sounds just like the consultants hired by Valley…. maybe gr and rw should hire their own consultant…

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