An international research project blames dangerous chemicals from central Iowa for polluting the air in northern Canada. The study zeroes in on an Ames power plant for releasing dioxins that threaten the health of Inuit Natives in the Canadian Arctic region.Brian Button is an air quality specialist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Air Quality Bureau. He says the study shows how far some pollutants can travel, even thousands of miles. Button says studies of this sort show how dangerous pollution is an emerging global issue.The City of Ames Power Plant burns about 90-percent coal and 10-percent refuse-derived fuel — and that waste is producing the dioxins. Button says the practice -is- legal, but is apparently jeopardizing people in a far away land. Button says other studies have found similar quantities of dangerous airborne chemicals coming from simple backyard trash burners.Button hopes people will consider other alternatives to getting rid of their garbage — like recycling or solid waste disposal. The study was paid for by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.Officials with the City of Ames say the inclusion of the Ames plant is a mistake. They say the high temperatures used in burning the trash should destroy the dioxins.
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