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Mine waste ‘souvenirs’ pulled from shelves

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ANACONDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

EBS STAFF

ANACONDA – According to the “Associated Press,” the Environmental Protection Agency was forced to intervene on the sale of “Bag O’ Slag,” sandwich bags filled with Anaconda mining and smelting waste, after discovering traces of arsenic, a known carcinogen, and lead, known to cause neurological damage in people, especially children and developing brains. 

EPA officials in Anaconda working to oversee the Superfund site, created through decades of smelting copper, incidentally came across the sale at the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce. According to the chamber’s executive director, Mary Johnston, the EPA asked the chamber to stop selling the $2 novelties in resealable bags and gave them recommendations for sealed containers.

The chamber told EBS in an email that the snack-sized bags contained approximately one third of a cup of slag. “Most all reports from the EPA do state that the contents of the slag are inert unless heated to a high temperature,” they said, adding that a warning label was included on the backs of the bags.

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