Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
As Mark Nicas was inspecting an aluminum recycling plant, he observed loads of oily scrap aluminum being dumped into furnaces to melt. Sparks shot out and clouds of black smoke billowed into the room as the scrap collided with molten metal. Chlorine leaks in the piping spewed green gas onto the floor. The scene unfolding looked more like the Hades of Greek mythology than a recycling plant. Not to mention, the plant’s employees were at serious risk of exposure to cancer-causing substances. As an industrial hygienist, Nicas was able to reduce the release of these toxic chemicals into the air. He and others in his field are committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community.