Thursday, January 20, 2011

Toxic Waste? They Have an App for That!

Ever wandered past a shining clean commercial facility  and wondered what deadly compunds were used there and what they could do to you?  Well, wonder no more.  The EPA has produced a smart phone application called MyRTK (Right to Know) which allows you to identify sources of toxic emissions or large amounts of dangerous chemicals near a particular location:
What “MyRTK” does is allow you to search a specific location for potentially toxic facilities surrounding it. Say you are in an area near the Chesapeake Bay; with this app you can type in “Chesapeake Bay” or “Chesapeake Bay, MD.” Once selected, a map will appear with all facilities in the vicinity represented by a pin. When you select a facility, you’ll be provided with information on the chemicals they handle, what is in their releases, the potential health effects of those chemicals, and a history of the facility’s compliance with releasing the chemicals.
 Not having a smart phone, I can't test this, but I can't imagine a more alarming gadget.  Truth be told, the civilized world around you depends on chemicals, which if ingested or inhaled or even exposed to briefly, would kill you dead, from chlorine gas at a water pumping station to a few tons of highly radioactive uranium pellets, in my vicinity. I am unconcerned...

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