“Fuller and Pure Earth (Blacksmith) have amassed an impressive record of success. But nothing could have prepared them for a situation like the decrepit Soviet dynamite* factory.” [*Note: We want to clarify an error in the article. It was not a “dynamite” factory. The facility housed TNT.]
– The Chemical Weapons Ukrainian Separatists Didn’t Get, Businessweek, Sept. 2014
Businessweek spoke with Richard Fuller recently about one of our most dangerous cleanups, and chronicled the advances Blacksmith Institute/Pure Earth has made in the fight to spotlight and deal with the world’s growing toxic pollution problem.
Note: This project was supported in part by the EU Delegation of Ukraine, and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Dow Chemicals was also a donor.
About Blacksmith’s Toxic Sites Identification Program:
“Until now, it’s not really been possible to evaluate how many people are exposed to hazardous waste and pollution and to calculate the human cost of that each year. And that’s something remarkable that Blacksmith’s done.”
–– Dr. Philip Landigran, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center.
About Pollution – A Fixable Problem:
“And this is why Fuller gets so passionate, Landigran says, “because it’s finite—it can be fixed. It’s not like a disease we don’t have a cure for. He can look at the levels in the environment or in people’s blood and see the progress.”
About the “toxic dump on top of a bomb” site in the Ukraine:
“If the site where we were operating were shelled today, it’s likely that a dozen people might still be killed, but it wouldn’t be the calamity it could have been… It’s just awful that the place is under such siege, but we managed to truck off and destroy about 10,000 tons of truly lethal materials. I’m really grateful we were able to complete the work when we did.”
— Richard Fuller, President, Blacksmith Institute/Pure Earth
- A Deadly Secret: The Story Behind The Cleanup of a Former Soviet Arms Site, TCE magazine cover story – A first-hand account of the cleanup by Andrew McCartor, Blacksmith/Pure Earth’s program director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.