Bayer neighbors want questions answered

September 9, 2004

Ruth Breech, Southwest Ohio Program Director
Ohio Citizen Action

Ohio Citizen Action surveyed Addyston and Sayler Park neighbors on June 12 and August 7, 2004, to learn about their experiences living near the Bayer chemical plant in Addyston. The survey was not a poll or scientific survey, but does reflect the observations and comments of people who spoke with our door-to-door canvassers. The results of the survey can be seen in the pie chart below.

The pie chart reflects the issues that neighbors listed as their top priorities only. For example, if someone mentioned both odors and water pollution, but said that odors were the bigger problems for them, they will be listed in the 'odors' section of the pie chart.

Of the 118 people we spoke with, 89% mentioned having the following problems they had experienced and wanted to know more about in connection with the Bayer plant: cancer; odors; health effects on children; drinking water; plant security; water pollution in Ohio River and Muddy Creek; fumes; noise; water and soil quality; breathing problems; asthma; soot on cars, homes, and boats; industrial accidents and illnesses.

Neighbors have many questions about the plant:
  • What is coating our property?
  • What are we breathing?
  • Why have the odors increased in the last 2-3 years?
  • Why are the odors stronger in the morning, weekends and late at night?
  • What is the long term exposure of the chemicals used in the plant?
  • What is the cancer rate in the area?
  • What is in our drinking water? How often is it tested? Does anyone get their water tested at their home?
  • Who or what is Lanxess?

Results chart

Bayer survey chart

Bayer/Lanxess 2003 air emissions (in lbs)
Carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide can replace oxygen in bloodstream, causing fatigue, chest pain, and nausea; it is fatal in high concentrations. 120,900
Nitrogen oxide Nitrogen oxide can irritate the nose, throat, lungs and eyes, and cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and nausea. 370,520
Sulfur dioxide Sulfur dioxide can constrict airways and inhibit breathing; it is especially dangerous to asthmatics. 812,840
Small particulates Small particulates -- invisible particles -- can damage lungs, and is easily assimilated into bloodstream. 147,240
Large particulates Large particulates -- visible soot and flakes -- can damage lungs. 86,020
Volatile organic compounds Volatile organic compounds can damage the liver, kidneys, and the central nervous system, and cause cancer. 102,020
Total   1,639,540
Source: Bayer Title V emission report to Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services
Thanks to Jane Reilley for compiling and charting the survey results.