Those massive piles of petcoke that have been stored on the banks of the Detroit River have created yet another concern in the form of thick black clouds of petcoke dust stirred by a recent storm, and floating across the way into Windsor, Canada.
Detroit residents are also worried about their health and that of their children.
"Late last month, Arena wiped a new coating of dust up with a new sponge and provided it to the Free Press, which gave the sample to the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, an environmental nonprofit that previously tested a sample of pet coke from the Detroit River pile provided by state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit.
Testing confirmed Arena’s suspicion: The dust contains pet coke.
“If it’s on my countertops, it’s going into my lungs,” she said. “It’s going into the Detroit River and affecting the ecology there. Who knows where else it’s going?”'
The state Department of Environmental Quality evaluation of the piles earlier this year found that they “do not pose a significant public health risk for inhalation exposure.”
Ecology Center research director Jeff Gearhart said "But small particles of pollution more easily lodge in people’s lungs and can lead to respiratory problems and worsen asthma."