The Beacon

The Big Fish That Ate the Little Fish

Olin: Go Mercury Free PostcardsRight before the holiday weekend, Olin Corp., one of the big fish in the chlorine manufacturing pond, officially swallowed a smaller fish, Pioneer Companies.

Why would ocean lovers care about chemical industry news?

Bigger fish tend to have higher levels of mercury in their systems because mercury in the smaller fish they've eaten accumulates, a phenomenon called "biomagnification." In a similar sense, Olin Corp. now has higher mercury levels as a company.

Before the merger, Olin owned two of only a handful of outdated mercury-polluting chlorine factories left in the U.S. And now that the company is the proud owner of Pioneer's outdated factory too, Olin's count is up to three. Meanwhile, no other company has more than one!



The good news is that Pioneer was in the process of switching its outdated factory to modern, mercury-free technology and hopefully Olin will continue that process with the same timeline of finishing by the end of 2008. And if our Campaign to Stop Seafood Contamination has its way, Olin execs will take a good look at Pioneer's projections for the switch to mercury-free technology, which show they can expect to get their money back within five years through energy efficiency and other financial benefits.

Oceana staff and volunteers are working hard to convince Olin to go mercury-free.  Anyone wanting to help can e-mail Olin and the other companies that own outdated, mercury-polluting chlorine factories.


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